How distinctive tone of voice can set a brand apart

How distinctive tone of voice can set a brand apart

I’ve been helping a new luxury lifestyle brand to develop its tone of voice and positioning. The website has recently gone live and among other things it includes an article I wrote that redefines what Bath offers visitors – both now and 250 years ago. Read the piece here.

It’s always interesting using tone of voice to give a company a distinctive character, and in this case the team behind Essence London wanted to go all out to generate a feeling of intense indulgence and extreme quality. The aim is to appeal to wealthy, mainly overseas clients by offering them a kind of fantasy of an elite English lifestyle.

The key to the tone is a richly formal language that generates an ornate voice and subtly flatters the reader. It’s a pleasure to write this way for once, and fun to read too. It’s also strikingly different from the world of chirpy, matey contemporary brands such as Innocent or, come to that, the cool, clipped yet still sententious voice of high tech brands like Samsung (‘We don’t innovate for the few, we innovate for all’; ‘Design your life with Galaxy Note 3’).

After years of being told that relaxed, informal language is the right way to write for business, maybe we’re learning that formality has its place, and perhaps a greater power than ever.