Integrated Marketing expert, Lori Jones, is obsessed with the outcome of every program her company, Avocet Communications, creates. I&I provides insight on how you can ignite your sales through integrated marketing, advertising, public relations, social, and digital story telling. We hope these posts make you think, spark some “aha!” moments, and illustrate just how important a truly integrated communications strategy – and a solid, inspired brand presence – is to success and longevity.
MarketingStrategic Marketing
April 22, 2016

The Tonality of Your Brand

Let’s take a short survey. No pen or paper needed. Be honest.

When you think of your brand, do you think about the way it’s experienced by your customers?

Are the words, phrases, and images you’re using as the voice and the look and feel of your brand accurately expressing who you are? Is that voice integrated and expressed consistently throughout your marketing program?

Are your customers experiencing your brand the way you want them to?

The answers to all of these questions should be yes. If not, or if you’re unsure, it’s time to take a look your brand’s tonality.

Tonality is another way of articulating brand voice, and is perhaps one of the most important tools in your integrated marketing toolbox. Tonality refers to the tenor of the messages a company distributes through its marketing efforts. These are the messages that are woven into the content of your website, your social media campaigns, your media relations and PR, and your creative design strategies.

Tone can be described by using many adjectives. A brand can take a positive, negative, funny, irreverent, formal, straight forward, light, impersonal, warm, friendly, youthful, or sophisticated tone. A company has to choose the right combination of words and images to build up the tone for its branding messages.

Giving a brand or company a proper voice gives an impression of solidity, trustworthiness and honesty, and it makes communication coherent.

Conversely, inconsistent tone of voice (or graphic style) gives a dissonant and contradictory impression that your audiences will find confusing and disjointed, if even on an unconscious level. It’s no different than in “regular life.” We all find consistency comforting. If a company’s style of communication changes radically from one day to the next, we might trust it less.

But, believable brand values and tone of voice can’t be a work of fiction. Your tone of voice should be consistent with reality, as well as with the truth of who you are and what your company represents. It’s far easier to stick to a tone of voice if it’s in harmony with they way you always write or speak. If you put on a mask, people will see through it soon enough anyway.

So if your IT support company is masculine and “all business,” make that your tone.

If there’s nothing funny or silly about your company, don’t use exclamation points and pithy or cute language.

If your audience is young and hip, feel free to use trendy verbiage, slang terminology, and pop culture references.

But, remember, it’s all about integration. For example, you can have the most colorful, engaging website – full of images and words that are spot on in communicating your brand to your specific audience – but, if your collateral materials are straight laced and formal, or if your Facebook page is boring and static, that disconnect will be felt by your customers and the overall tonality of the experience is tarnished. You need everything to be consistent for your customers to feel good about engaging with your brand.

For an effective brand experience, you need totality – or integration – and tonality working together to give a complete picture of what your brand can offer. Both elements need to be consistent with each interaction. As soon as one element of your marketing falls out of step with the rest, you put the brand in jeopardy with your customers. Execute your marketing consistently in both totality and tonality and you will have a winning formula for your brand.

Call the Avocet team at 303-678-7102 today to discuss the tonality of your brand and learn how we can make it sing!!

About this author

Lori Jones

President & CEO - Avocet Communications. Increasing Customer Acquisition Through Integrated Marketing Communications

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