Style and tone guides

Write like this.
No, not like that.
Like this.

RBS Group, Vodafone and Birmingham Midshires don’t just have hulking great online identity guidelines. They have online tone of voice guidelines too.

We know, because we created them.

What does tone of voice mean to your customers?

Brand identity is about more than just colours, logo placement and photographic style. It’s also about words.

In fact, as video, chat and social media become a part of everyday life online, words need to be right at the heart of your online marketing.

But how to choose the right ones? And how to make sure your people and agencies get the tone of voice right? After all, everyone can write? Can’t they?

Five steps to perfect your tone of voice

If you want the crunchy detail, call us. But if you just need a quick idea of the Blackad approach to tone of voice, this little guide covers the main points:

  1. Get forensic – we gather evidence to give a fair representation of your current tone of voice
  2. Interrogate – we talk to your brand team and the people in your organisation who write for (and talk to) customers. No Anglepoise lamps and lengths of rubber hosing. Unless you ask especially
  3. Flipcharts at dawn – a brand tone of voice workshop to explore ideas in more detail, and pull everyone’s thoughts into not-so-handy A2 format. We’ll refine the outcomes from this session, to create your draft guidelines
  4. Write the book – we pour everything we’ve learned into a clear and decidedly unpretentious set of tone of voice guidelines. If you’d like, we’ll also add pointers on modern style
  5. Train your writers – these sessions typically last from three hours to a full day. We usually run 5-10 sessions to make sure everyone gets trained. It’s a good idea to run expert sessions for your experienced writers and agency folk too