We bring brands to life.
“Stop Strangling Brands”
The Writers are expert strategists and communicators.
The Writers have created more than $7,480,000,000 of brand value with good ideas and good writing for clients like Foxtel, HBO, Lexus, Orica, Porsche, SBS, Qantas and others.
Over the years we’ve learnt that how you say something is a lot more important than what you say.
You know how critical a consistent tone of voice is for your brand.
Especially with the explosion of media and communication channels. Websites, Email, SMS, LinkedIn, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, Twitter, Slack, Snapchat, Skype, Telegram. Add phone calls plus face-to-face conversations and a typical employee communicates the brand 100 times a day. 100 ways a day to hurt or help your brand.
If you have 1,000 employees, that’s 100,000 pieces of communications a day. 500,000 over a working week, 23 million a year.
What percentage of these communications are on brand? How many of your people even know what the language should be? What the right tone of voice is?
Bad writing is strangling your brand. It’s confusing your communications, pushing people away instead of drawing them in.
No wonder you’re trying to bring together a slew of brand assets, aiming to integrate a consistent language. But all the extra media and channels make it harder than ever. Herding angry cats would be less stressful.
You may have tried to produce a tone of voice guide or stumbled across one someone cobbled together years ago. It’s what the brand was and not what you want it to become.
Or perhaps your current tone of voice is a lone page in a weighty design manual overflowing with logo use, fonts, kerning, exclusion zones, Pantone references, photography styles and much, much more. Letting designers do tone of voice guides is like letting tattooists do brain surgery - nice in theory but deadly in practice.
Too often tone of voice is an afterthought. This is dangerous for your brand. Language and words are how people get to know your brand. Whether it’s written or verbal communication, what you say and how you say it says everything.
Bad writing says your brand is bad. Tone of voice shouldn’t be cheesy. It shouldn’t take a brand’s strategy and whack people over the head with it.
Language is the most effective way to differentiate your brand from your rivals while building a company culture that matches your brand’s ambitions. A good tone of voice guide can be very powerful for your brand - if it’s used well.
There are some traps along the way. After working with many brands on their language, we’ve found there are three common fails.
1. No sign off from the top
Tone of voice guides not supported from the top-down won’t catch on with anyone except the marketing team that commissioned them. It’s going to be an uphill battle to try and get your people to write from the same page in the right voice. We need a personal introduction from the chief executive with a good story stressing the importance of the brand language.
2. Style over substance
Many tone of voice guides include values like ‘clear’ or ‘accessible’ or ‘professional’. These aren’t brand distinctions. These are directions to write well. All good and well but it doesn’t differentiate the brand. We need to add value that separates the brand from the rest of the pack.
3. Unusable content
Tone of voice guides that waffle on about brand strategy or vision statements or endless diagrams of brand essence will be lost on frontline teams. Customer service and sales can really benefit from writing on brand. But marketing-speak will just confuse and annoy them. We need to engage everyone on their terms.
Tone of voice guides may not be read cover to cover. Far better to bring the whole idea of your brand language alive in workshops. Our training workshops are tailored to unlock your people’s natural ability to write well by improving and aligning real-world examples of their own day-to-day writing.
Combined with our StoryStructure™ process, your people will be able to enhance every piece of communication that comes their way. They’ll be strengthening your brand with every word they write and say.
By avoiding those typical fails, we’ll have created a tone of voice guide that helps your people gain confidence with a consistent language that delivers a better experience for everyone.
You’ll bring your brand back from the dead.
You’ll bring your brand to life.
Wondering how we can help you stop strangling your brand? Email email@example.com
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