How to Define Your Brand Tone of Voice

Steps for establishing your company's brand tone of voice.

Brand tone of voice

Brand tone of voice is an important part of your firm’s brand and a critical element in how people perceive your firm. It reflects your brand personality and expresses your company’s set of values. It also helps you connect with your audience and makes you stand out from the competition.

Your tone of voice has a major impact on your relationship with your audience, brand identity, and overall performance. It should be consistent throughout your content as it demonstrates that you’re reliable and delivers the highest quality of the customer experience.

Following the next steps can help you establish a clear tone of voice for your company’s brand:

Step 1: Get to Know Your Audience

Start by doing thorough research of your current audience in order to adjust your content to your target audience. Take a look at their demographic information and use that data to create a portrait of your ideal customer. Defining your ideal buyer can help you figure out how best to communicate with and relate to your customers. Moreover, to find out what channels they prefer to use for communication with brands. Afterward, use it in order to adapt your tone of voice and reach out to them.

Step 2: Identify Your Brand’s Values and Mission statement

Identifying your company’s core values will help you communicate your message effectively. Besides that, it will shape the community surrounding your brand and ensure the connection with your customers. After you have defined your brand values, the next step is to compose a clear brand mission statement for your audience. A well-defined mission statement shapes your brand’s culture and allows your audience to relate to your company’s values.

Identify your company's values in order to define your brand tone of voice.

Step 3: Examine Your Current Communication

Inspect your existing content and communication to see what your brand sounds like at this point. According to the Nielsen Norman Group, there are 4 types of brand tone of voice:

  • Humor (funny vs. serious)
  • Formality (formal vs. casual)
  • Respectfulness (respectful vs. irreverent)
  • Enthusiasm (enthusiastic vs. matter-of-fact)

Step 4: Define Your Brand’s Tone of Voice

Combine all the information you’ve collected through research and use it to define your brand’s tone of voice. A tone of voice should consist of two elements:

  • What do you sound like
  • What do you want to sound like

After you have identified where your brand falls within each dimension, refine it by choosing more specific tone characteristics.  Use the Norman Nielsen Group list of 37 tone-of-voice words.

Once you have refined your desired tone of voice, merge “What you sound like” and “What you want to sound like”. Check if your tone of voice aligns with both elements and make necessary changes if needed.

Communicate your company's brand tone of voice to your audience.

Step 5: Implement the Tone of Voice Into Your Brand Communication

In order to successfully implement your tone of voice, create detailed brand guidelines. Write them in the defined brand’s tone of voice. Insert a portrait of your target audience, their voice, and your brand’s attitude to your audience. Also include your brand’s values, your mission statement, and specific vocabulary. Don’t forget to introduce your employees to this guide. Most importantly, implement your brand’s tone of voice to each content you publish.


A tone of voice expresses a unique personality that turns a company into a brand. The first step in developing a tone of voice is deciding what message do you wish to communicate to the world. Secondly, decide to whom do you want to communicate that message. With a clear idea of your audience, you can develop a vision of your brand’s message

Furthermore, you can discover what is the right language to approach them. Consistently using your brand tone of voice has several benefits. Above all, it will make your audience receive a better sense of where your brand stands. In addition, it will introduce them to the values your company provides to them.

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