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Tone of voice. Verbal identity. Brand language. Whatever you call it, each has the same aim: to bring character, coherence and consistency to the way an organisation expresses itself in words. Why? Because adding character helps distinguish you from everyone else. Being coherent provides a richer, more meaningful experience. And being consistent helps build trust and loyalty.

The Economist, Apple, Virgin and First Direct all do it brilliantly. Each understands how language can forge connections, build relationships and, ultimately, sell stuff. But contrary to popular opinion, tone of voice isn’t just for blue chips. Many niche and smaller organisations use it to good effect – like the Natural History Museum and Hotel du Vin.

It could just involve agreeing some basic principles of good communication. Or adding a bit of personality to communications when appropriate. Or it could be a bells and whistles approach to uncovering the words, messages and language that reflect your organisation’s values and personality. So the real you comes across, wherever your words appear.

If you feel your words don’t reflect how you sound. If you’re tired of your customers confusing you with your competitors. Or if you want all your people to talk about your business in the same way, tone of voice could be part of the answer.

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