How To Define And Create Your Unique Brand Tone Of Voice

How To Define And Create Your Unique Brand Tone Of Voice

In today’s world, brands face the challenge of not just being heard, but also resonating with their audience. The key? Crafting a distinctive brand tone of voice – a blend of tried-and-true and innovative approaches.

This unique voice becomes your brand’s signature, setting the stage for meaningful connections and lasting impressions.

It’s not just about what you say, but how you say it. In this era where content is king, a well-defined tone can elevate your brand from mere background noise to a memorable symphony in the minds of your audience.

Here, we’ll explore strategies that weave together the conventional and the extraordinary, ensuring your brand’s voice is not just heard, but felt and remembered.

Contents ...

What is brand tone of voice? Is brand voice different from brand tone? 

Brand tone of voice encapsulates how a brand communicates its message, encompassing the choice of words, the pace of speech, and the emotional inflection. It’s a crucial element of a brand’s personality, playing a significant role in how the brand is perceived by its audience. While often used interchangeably, brand voice and brand tone are distinct concepts.

Brand voice is the consistent expression of a brand’s personality and values, remaining constant across different platforms and messages. It’s the underlying character of the brand, akin to how a person’s personality remains consistent over time.

On the other hand, brand tone is more flexible, changing based on the context or audience. For example, a brand might adopt a serious tone when discussing a sensitive issue but switch to a more playful tone for a promotional campaign.

Understanding the difference is crucial for effective brand communication, ensuring the brand voice remains consistent while the tone adapts to suit the situation and audience, thereby creating a dynamic and engaging brand persona.

Finding an ideal brand tone of voice – with proven and unusual ideas

Finding an ideal brand tone of voice demands a harmonious blend of proven methods and innovative, unconventional ideas. This approach, central to my “Unusual By Strategy” forte, advocates for a dynamic equilibrium between traditional and novel techniques.

The conventional methods involve deep diving into the brand’s core values and mission, understanding the audience’s preferences, and examining successful industry examples for inspiration. These foundational steps ensure the brand voice is authentic and resonant. However, to truly differentiate in a crowded market, introducing offbeat, creative elements is key.

This could mean experimenting with unexpected language styles, incorporating unique cultural references, or adopting an unconventional storytelling approach. By balancing these two facets, a brand can craft a tone of voice that not only aligns with its identity but also stands out, turning routine communication into memorable brand experiences.

This strategy isn’t just about being different; it’s about strategically leveraging the unusual to create a distinctive, captivating brand presence.

8 strategic pointers to defining and creating your brand tone of voice

Leveraging my 40+ years’ experience as a Brand Content Strategist with a penchant for the unusual, I have compiled eight ideas that blend time-tested approaches with inventive twists for defining and creating a unique brand tone of voice.

By melding the reliability of traditional methods with the flair of creative, unexpected tactics, these ideas are designed to work even harder, ensuring your brand’s tone of voice is not just distinctive, but also deeply engaging and memorable for your target audience.

How To Create A Content Strategy Step By Step (Infographic)

1. Identifying your brand's core values as a guide

The journey to defining a unique brand tone of voice begins with a deep understanding of your brand’s core values. These values act as a compass, guiding not only business decisions but also how the brand communicates.

For instance, a brand that values innovation and creativity might adopt a tone that’s energetic and forward-thinking, using language that’s cutting-edge and vibrant. This is not just about picking words; it’s about embodying the ethos of the brand in every message.

Consider a hypothetical eco-friendly clothing brand – their core values of sustainability and ethical practices would be reflected in a tone that’s informative, yet passionate, possibly using storytelling to connect customers with the journey of their products from organic farms to fashion.

In content marketing, this approach ensures that every piece of content, whether it’s a blog post, social media update, or advertising copy, consistently echoes these values. This consistency builds trust and recognition, as customers come to know what to expect and associate these values strongly with the brand, enhancing its voice and presence in a crowded market.


  • Conduct a core values workshop: Gather key stakeholders for a brainstorming session focused on identifying and articulating the brand’s core values. This collaborative effort should aim to pinpoint the essence of the brand’s identity and philosophy.
  • Analyze your brand’s history and evolution: Look back at the brand’s history, key milestones, and evolution over time. This analysis can reveal underlying values that have shaped the brand’s journey and should be echoed in the tone of voice.
  • Engage in competitor values assessment: Study your competitors not to imitate, but to understand their values and positioning. This helps in defining your own brand’s values in contrast, ensuring they are unique and differentiated.
  • Integrate customer feedback and insights: Incorporate feedback from your target audience to understand their perception of your brand. This feedback can highlight aspects of your brand’s values that resonate most with your audience.
  • Document and refine your values statement: Develop a clear, concise values statement that encapsulates your brand’s core values. Regularly revisit and refine this statement to ensure it remains aligned with your brand’s evolving identity and market position.
Unusual Idea


Consider the unusual idea of “Core Values Amplification through Storytelling.” This method elevates the standard practice of identifying brand core values by weaving them into captivating narratives. Instead of plainly listing values, they are expressed through stories that demonstrate these principles in action. For instance, in the case of our hypothetical eco-friendly clothing brand, this could involve sharing tales about the sustainable sources of their fabrics, the lives of artisans crafting the garments, or the journey of a piece of clothing from concept to consumer.

These stories do more than just state values; they breathe life into them, fostering a deeper, more emotional connection with the audience. This narrative approach not only reinforces the brand’s values but also makes its message resonate more powerfully and memorably with its audience.

2. Finding the perfect tone of voice for your brand

The quest to find the perfect tone of voice for a brand is akin to discovering its speaking style, one that resonates with its personality and audience. This journey involves meticulous research and a deep understanding of both the brand’s identity and its target audience.

A tech startup focused on AI, for instance, might adopt a tone that’s innovative and authoritative, yet approachable, to demystify complex topics for a non-technical audience. The tone should be reflected consistently across all content marketing channels – be it blogs, social media, or email campaigns – ensuring a coherent brand experience.

In content marketing, this uniform tone of voice becomes the brand’s signature, helping to build a connection with the audience. It’s not merely about the words used; it’s about crafting a voice that embodies the brand’s ethos and speaks directly to the hearts and minds of its audience.

Such a tone of voice not only distinguishes the brand but also fosters trust and loyalty, turning casual browsers into long-term customers.


  • Analyze brand personality: Assess your brand’s existing personality traits to ensure the tone of voice aligns seamlessly with how your brand is currently perceived or aims to be perceived by your target audience.
  • Review successful examples in your industry: Study how leading brands in your industry communicate. Pay attention to their tone of voice and how it enhances their brand identity, taking notes on what works well for them.
  • Conduct tone of voice experiments: Test different tones in your marketing materials, such as social media posts or email campaigns, and gauge audience reaction to find what resonates best with them.
  • Gather team input: Involve various team members in the discussion, as diverse perspectives can offer valuable insights into how different tones might be perceived by a varied audience.
  • Refine and evolve: Continuously refine your tone based on feedback and changing trends. Remember that a brand’s tone of voice can evolve over time as the brand grows and the market changes.
Unusual Idea


Consider the innovative approach of “Tonal Personality Mapping.” This enhancement involves creating a detailed persona for your brand’s tone of voice, almost like a character in a story. This persona embodies not just the tone but also attitudes, likes, dislikes, and speech patterns.

For the tech startup focused on AI, this could mean developing a persona that’s akin to a tech-savvy, approachable expert, someone who can explain complex AI concepts in a simple, engaging manner. This persona then guides all communication, ensuring that every piece of content, from blog posts to social media updates, feels like it’s coming from this well-defined, relatable character, making the brand’s communication more cohesive and resonant with the audience.

3. Observing how your audience communicates

Understanding the nuances of how your audience communicates is pivotal in shaping a brand’s tone of voice that resonates and connects. This process involves actively listening to and analyzing the language, style, and preferences of your target audience.

For example, a skincare brand targeting young adults might observe that their audience uses casual, upbeat language and frequently engages with visually driven content on social media. By mirroring these communication styles in their content marketing efforts – from Instagram posts to blog articles – the brand can speak in a voice that feels familiar and appealing to its audience.

This mirroring isn’t about imitation; it’s about reflecting the audience’s own way of speaking back to them, creating a sense of kinship and understanding. This approach enhances the brand’s relevance and relatability, fostering deeper engagement.

In content marketing, such insights can be goldmines, informing not only the tone but also the types of content created, ensuring every piece resonates with the audience’s preferences and communication style.


  • Monitor social media interactions: Pay close attention to how your audience communicates on social media platforms. Note their language style, slang, and topics of interest to understand their communication preferences.
  • Analyze customer reviews and feedback: Scrutinize reviews and feedback on your own and competitors’ products. Look for common phrases, sentiments, and tone used by your audience.
  • Conduct surveys and polls: Engage directly with your audience through surveys and polls. Ask specific questions about their communication preferences and the kind of language they resonate with.
  • Participate in community forums: Join forums and online communities where your target audience is active. Observe their discussions to gain insights into their communication styles and preferences.
  • Study customer support interactions: Review transcripts of customer support calls and chats. Analyze the language and tone used by customers to understand how they prefer to communicate.
Unusual Idea


Introducing the concept of “Communication Echo Mapping,” an unusual yet effective enhancement in observing how your audience communicates. This method involves creating a detailed map of the various communication channels and styles your audience prefers, then reflecting these in your brand’s own communications. For the skincare brand targeting young adults, this could mean mapping out the vibrant, visual language seen on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and echoing it in their own content.

By doing so, the brand not only speaks in a tone that resonates with its audience but also creates content that visually and stylistically aligns with the platforms where their audience is most active. This strategic mirroring helps in forging a stronger connection and ensuring the brand’s message is both seen and heard.

4. Creating and implementing a tone of voice guide

Creating and implementing a tone of voice guide is a critical step in ensuring consistency across all brand communications. This guide serves as a blueprint for how a brand communicates its personality and values.

For instance, consider a gourmet coffee brand aiming to convey a tone of sophistication and expertise. The tone of voice guide for this brand would detail specific language styles, word choices, and emotional cues to be used in all marketing materials. It might emphasize using rich, descriptive language and a knowledgeable yet accessible tone to appeal to coffee enthusiasts.

In content marketing, this guide becomes an invaluable reference for anyone crafting content for the brand, from social media posts to blog articles, ensuring that every piece of communication reinforces the desired brand perception.

The guide helps maintain a coherent brand voice, making it easier for the audience to recognize and connect with the brand, enhancing brand loyalty and customer engagement.


  • Define specific language and style guidelines: Establish clear guidelines on language style, word choice, and sentence structure that align with your brand’s personality and tone of voice.
  • Incorporate emotional tone and cues: Detail the emotional tone and cues that should be present in the brand’s communications, such as warmth, authority, humor, or sophistication.
  • Create usage examples and scenarios: Provide practical examples and scenarios to illustrate how the tone of voice should be applied in different types of content and communication channels.
  • Develop a review and approval process: Set up a process for reviewing and approving content to ensure it aligns with the tone of voice guide before publication.
  • Train your team on the guide: Conduct training sessions for all team members involved in content creation and brand communications to ensure they understand and can effectively apply the tone of voice guidelines.
Unusual Idea


Introducing “Interactive Tone Playbooks,” an innovative twist to the traditional tone of voice guide. Unlike static guidelines, this approach involves creating an interactive, digital playbook that not only lists tone guidelines but also includes interactive examples and simulations. For the gourmet coffee brand, this could mean an online interface where team members can experiment with different tones in mock-up scenarios, such as crafting social media posts or responding to customer queries.

This interactive element transforms the guide from a document to be read into a tool to be actively used, enhancing understanding and engagement. It ensures the brand’s sophisticated and knowledgeable tone is not just understood in theory but practiced and perfected, elevating the effectiveness of the brand’s content marketing strategy.

5. Cutting through competition with differentiation

Differentiating a brand through a unique tone of voice is an effective strategy to stand out in a competitive market. This involves not just what you say, but how you say it, allowing your brand to leave a distinct impression.

Take, for instance, a hypothetical organic skincare line in a saturated market. Instead of the usual serene and subdued communication style common in this sector, the brand could adopt a bold, spirited tone, infused with humor and wit.

In content marketing, this shift would be evident across blog posts, social media, and advertising, where the lively tone could attract attention and carve out a unique space in the audience’s mind. Such a tone might also appeal to a younger demographic, looking for authenticity and fun in their skincare choices.

This approach not only helps the brand get noticed but also builds a strong, memorable identity that can foster loyalty and advocacy among customers, giving it a significant edge over competitors.


  • Assess competitor communication styles: Analyze how your competitors communicate with their audience. Identify common patterns and look for areas where your brand can adopt a contrasting tone.
  • Explore unconventional content formats: Experiment with different content formats that are not widely used by your competitors, like interactive infographics, animated explainers, or humorous skits.
  • Highlight unique brand aspects in tone: Focus on aspects of your brand that are unique and emphasize these in your tone of voice. This could be your brand’s history, approach to customer service, or product innovation.
  • Test and iterate new tones in campaigns: Use marketing campaigns as a testing ground for different tones. Monitor audience response and engagement to understand what works best.
  • Leverage customer stories and testimonials: Use real customer stories and testimonials in your content, presented in a tone that’s distinct from competitors, to create a more relatable and authentic brand image.
Unusual Idea


Introducing “Contrastive Tone Mapping,” an innovative strategy for cutting through competition with differentiation. This approach involves identifying the predominant tones used by competitors and deliberately crafting a contrasting tone for your brand. For the hypothetical organic skincare line, while competitors may use calm and soothing tones, this method would involve adopting a bold, energetic, and perhaps humor-infused tone.

This stark contrast in communication not only makes the brand stand out in a crowded market but also attracts a specific segment of the audience that resonates with this unique approach. It’s about creating a brand voice that’s not just different, but memorably opposite, ensuring that the brand carves out its own niche in the audience’s perception, thereby standing out distinctly against its competitors.

6. Using your tone of voice to build brand authority

A brand’s tone of voice is a powerful tool in establishing and reinforcing its authority in its field. By consistently using a tone that aligns with its expertise and values, a brand can position itself as a trusted leader.

For instance, a hypothetical financial advisory firm might choose a tone that’s professional, confident, and reassuring. This tone, applied across various content marketing channels like blogs, social media, and client communications, would convey the firm’s deep understanding of finance, its commitment to client success, and its reliability.

Such a tone not only helps in making complex financial concepts accessible but also instills confidence in clients, reinforcing the firm’s authority in the financial sector.

The consistent use of this authoritative tone ensures that every piece of content the firm produces not only informs but also builds and maintains the trust and respect of its audience, thereby strengthening its position as an industry leader.


  • Utilize expert language and jargon appropriately: Employ industry-specific language and jargon in your content to demonstrate expertise, but balance it with clarity to ensure accessibility for a broader audience.
  • Showcase thought leadership content: Regularly produce and share thought leadership articles, whitepapers, and research studies that reflect your brand’s deep knowledge and insights in your field.
  • Highlight customer success stories: Use your brand’s tone to tell success stories of clients or customers, demonstrating your positive impact and reinforcing your authority in your industry.
  • Engage in industry discussions: Actively participate in industry forums, discussions, and social media conversations, using your brand’s authoritative tone to contribute valuable insights.
  • Offer educational and informative content: Create content that educates your audience on industry trends, challenges, and solutions, using an authoritative yet approachable tone to position your brand as a go-to resource.
Unusual Idea


Embrace the strategy of “Authoritative Storytelling.” This enhancement involves using narrative techniques to present your brand’s expertise in a story format. Instead of just stating facts or achievements, it weaves them into compelling stories that illustrate the brand’s authority. For the hypothetical financial advisory firm, this could mean creating client journey stories that showcase financial successes and the firm’s role in them.

These narratives, told in a confident and professional tone, would not only engage the audience but also subtly demonstrate the firm’s expertise and reliability. By turning dry information into engaging tales, the firm cements its position as a trusted authority in finance, making complex topics relatable and reinforcing its expertise in the minds of clients.

7. Emulating real-life face-to-face communications

Emulating real-life face-to-face communications in a brand’s tone of voice is about creating a sense of personal connection and approachability. This involves using a conversational tone that mirrors natural human interactions, making the brand more relatable and engaging.

Consider a hypothetical local bakery that wants to establish a warm, community-focused presence online. By adopting a tone in its content marketing that’s friendly, informal, and sprinkled with local colloquialisms, the bakery can create a sense of familiarity and warmth.

This tone, used in blog posts about recipes, social media updates on daily specials, and email newsletters, makes customers feel like they’re chatting with a friendly neighbor rather than a business. It breaks down the barriers of digital communication, fostering a sense of community and belonging.

Such a tone not only attracts customers but also builds loyalty, as people feel a personal connection with the brand, reminiscent of a friendly conversation over the counter.


  • Incorporate conversational language: Use colloquial and conversational language in your content to mimic the natural flow of face-to-face conversations.
  • Apply direct address and personalization: Address your audience directly in your content, using words like ‘you’ and ‘your’, to create a more personal and engaging tone.
  • Use everyday examples and anecdotes: Include relatable examples, anecdotes, and stories in your content to make complex ideas more understandable and engaging.
  • Add humor and personality: Inject personality and appropriate humor into your communications to make them more lively and human.
  • Encourage audience interaction: Create content that invites responses, such as questions or prompts for comments, to foster a two-way conversation with your audience.
Unusual Idea


Introduce “Dynamic Conversational Modeling,” an unusual enhancement that goes beyond standard conversational tone. This method involves dynamically adjusting the brand’s communication style to mirror the evolving conversation styles observed in real life. For the hypothetical local bakery, this would mean not only using a friendly and informal tone but also adapting to the latest local slang and expressions, making their digital communication feel as current and lively as a chat at the bakery counter.

Whether it’s in social media posts or email newsletters, this approach keeps the brand’s tone fresh and in sync with the local community’s evolving way of speaking, deepening the connection with customers by reflecting the lively, ever-changing nature of real-world conversations.

8. Maintaining internal consistency and authenticity

Maintaining internal consistency and authenticity in a brand’s tone of voice is crucial for building trust and credibility with the audience. This means ensuring that the tone used across all platforms and by all team members aligns with the brand’s established identity and values.

Consider a hypothetical outdoor clothing brand that promotes adventure and sustainability. To maintain authenticity, every piece of content, from social media posts to product descriptions, should reflect these values through a tone that’s adventurous, energetic, and environmentally conscious.

Further, this tone should be consistent in internal communications within the company, reinforcing the brand’s ethos among employees. Such consistency ensures that the brand’s message is not just a marketing facade but a true representation of its identity.

It helps in building a genuine connection with the audience, as they come to recognize and trust the brand’s voice, knowing it accurately reflects the brand’s core values and mission.


  • Regular training for team members: Conduct frequent training sessions for all team members to ensure they understand and can effectively apply the brand’s tone of voice in their communications.
  • Consistent internal and external messaging: Align all internal communications, such as emails and memos, with the same tone of voice used in external content to maintain consistency.
  • Periodic review of content across channels: Regularly review content across all platforms, including social media, website, and print materials, to ensure the tone remains consistent and authentic.
  • Encourage employee engagement with brand values: Foster a work environment where employees are encouraged to embrace and reflect the brand values in their daily interactions and decision-making.
  • Feedback mechanism for tone consistency: Implement a feedback system where team members can report inconsistencies or offer suggestions for maintaining the brand’s tone of voice in all forms of communication.
Unusual Idea


Introduce “Authenticity Audits,” an innovative enhancement to reinforce internal consistency and authenticity. This method involves periodic, in-depth reviews of both internal and external communications to ensure they align with the brand’s tone and values. For the hypothetical outdoor clothing brand, this could mean conducting monthly audits where a team evaluates all recent communications, from social media posts to internal newsletters, against the brand’s adventurous and eco-conscious values.

These audits help in identifying any deviations and ensure that every message, regardless of its platform or audience, consistently reflects the brand’s identity. By regularly assessing and realigning content with the brand ethos, the company not only maintains consistency but also strengthens its authenticity, fostering deeper trust with both employees and customers.

In summary

  1. Harmonizing brand values with tone of voice: The importance of aligning a brand’s tone of voice with its core values cannot be overstated. This alignment ensures that every piece of content not only communicates the brand’s message but also reinforces its identity and ethos, making the brand relatable and trustworthy to its audience.

  2. Differentiation through unique communication: Standing out in a competitive market requires a brand to develop a unique tone of voice. This uniqueness, achieved by blending conventional and creative communication strategies, enables the brand to cut through the noise and establish a distinctive presence that captivates and retains the audience’s attention.

  3. Consistency across all platforms: Ensuring consistency in tone across all communication channels is vital for building and maintaining brand authenticity. Regular audits and team training help in preserving this consistency, making the brand’s voice not only recognizable but also a reliable and authentic representation of what the brand stands for.

Take your brand's content marketing from run-of-the-mill to remarkable

Shobha Ponnappa

"As a Content/Brand Specialist, and SEO/UX Writer, I can help transform your brand's online presence. I can lift it with innovative ideas to take it to an enviable position. Let's collaborate to create a captivating brand story, engage your audience, boost your online visibility, and increase your ROI. Take the next step towards your brand content success and contact me today."

Join My Community!

I Bring You:

Content Marketing That’s “Unusual By Strategy” … Tips, Tricks, Tactics, Techniques, Trends, Training.

Get my weekly ContenTracker Newsletter packed with loads of content marketing ideas – proven and unusual.

ContenTracker Newsletter

Get a free download of my ebook on “50 Unusual Ways To Use AI In Content Marketing” …  and transform your success.

Ebook Offer

Just fill in the form to join my community … we have big and small brands for company. You’ll stay on the speedway to growth.

50 Unusual Ways To Use AI In Content Marketing

Free Download

Just fill in this form and get this awesome ebook in your email inbox. Plus … each week you’ll receive my ContenTracker Newsletter that brings you tips, tricks, tactics, techniques, trends, and training on the latest in content marketing.