Clear means that MailChimp strips away all that jargon, hyperbolic language and value clarity above all.
Genuine voice helps to relate to small businesses and their challenges speak to them in a familiar, warm, and accessible way.
Mailchimp’s tone is usually informal, with a bit of dry humor that might be a bit weird, but not inappropriate and never snobbish.
The Mailchimp content style guide also advises that if you want to make a joke—forced humor can be worse than none at all, so if you’re unsure, it’s better to keep a straight face.
In the guide, you’ll also find helpful tips and key elements for writing using the brand voice.
Harley-Davidson is a perfect example of how a more aggressive tone can be used for the right brand.
The Harley-Davidson voice is strong, confident and aggressive.
Some brands try to speak in a pleasant and cheerful way or with a playful and fun voice, but Harley is definitely not one of them.
Harley-Davidson tone of voice challenges the reader to show that they are worthy of handling one of their motorcycles.
The brand clearly fits the Outlaw archetype, therefore their personality is rough and rugged, so it’s their voice.
They show their personality through a unique and consistent tone of voice that speaks well to their target audiences.
This type of voice resonates well with rebellious, bold, and fiercely independent customers (or wanna-be).
Everything about their marketing evokes confidence, freedom, patriotism, and masculinity — just look at their website and the headlines they use.
Coca-Cola is one of my favorite examples when it comes to consistent brand voice.
The Coca-Cola voice is positive, friendly, and down-to-earth.
They are always showing us concepts of what a happy life looks like accompanied by positive voice.
They have been on the market for over 130 years, but their voice remains consistent with a single purpose to evoke happiness.
You can see polar bears, families getting together to have dinner (and a Coke) or friends dancing and smiling—in every marketing campaign you’ll see the concept of happy-life.
Coca-Cola brilliantly connects positive feelings with their drink through evocative images and perfectly-constructed tone of voice.
6. Old Spice
Old Spice had long been the leader in men’s deodorant, but when Axe entered the market, the brand began to lose share and had to rebrand.
The Old Spice voice is humorous and masculine.
The NY agency Landor established Old Spice’s unique voice and inspired new ways to engage consumers.
The Old Spice brand, similarly to Coca-Cola, is an older brand that was on the market for over 90 years.
However, unlike Coca-Cola, the brand wasn’t good at branding as people started associating it with old people smell.
That’s why the company had to undergo a total rebrand in 2010 which included, of course, changing the tone of voice.
They began using plenty of humor in their advertisements and on social media, which proved to be very successful.
Now, Old spice uses a consistent tone of voice with a bit of witty humor that helps the brand to redefine masculinity and dominate the deodorant aisle.
Tiffany is not just about the shade of baby blue, but it’s also about brand personality.
The Tiffany tone of voice voice is witty, elegant and classic.
The content team and social teams work together for voice consistency between social posts and branded content
“Historically, Tiffany’s voice as a brand was witty and twitter allows us to bring that back.“ said Hong, who leads the team of art directors and copywriters.
Tiffany also has a very strong brand voice and is big on social media and marketing.
After all, people are willing to pay much more for a Tiffany product than some equivalent without a Tiffany logo.
They pay for logo, design, and the small blue box that holds the jewelry.
But it wouldn’t be possible to sell this high quality (often overpriced) jewelry without proper tone of voice and messaging.
In every single communication the tone is very elegant and classic and the brand is iconic is a big part thanks to the voice that resonates with customers.
How do you define a brand voice?
Think of your brand voice acting as a filter for the the words you use to write copy for your marketing materials.
Your tone of voice will stem from your your brand personality and your brand values.
Many successful businesses dedicate a special section in its brand guidelines to the tone of voice to make sure that the brand communicates in a consistent way.
Remember that the tone of voice is not the actual brand messaging — the difference between both is that your tone is how you say it, not the exact words to use. (If you're looking to write actual copy—check out my Brand Story Framework)
Therefore a brand voice acts as a delivery method for the characteristics of brand personality which all ties into developing a human persona.