Meanwhile, financial service companies are sometimes accused of deliberately using jargon-heavy language as a way of implying a sense of superiority.
Sometimes the motivation behind a company’s work is more abstract.
Rather than answering a particular social or material need, it appeals to something more spiritual.
This mission to encourage greener living, then, propels the rest of its copy and approach to language.
For instance, its call for people to join its members club doesn’t focus on added luxury or convenience, but instead asks, ‘Want to make a real impact?
It cannot be plucked from thin air, created on a whim or entirely based on a trend you think is cool.
Rather, it must grow out of who you already are as a company.
(Turning this into a collaborative process may also help with getting buy-in from different departments, as discussed in my final chapter on implementation.) Car-sharing service Zipcar asks its website visitors to ‘Imagine a world with one million fewer cars in the world’.
The reason for the company’s existence is clear – to unclog the roads and thereby help look after the natural environment.
In order to identify your values, here are a few questions to ask yourself.
If possible, get other people in your company to join in and then see what everyone’s answers have in common.
I’ve included real-life examples of how brands use tone of voice, as well as interviews with innocent and Libertine. Rather confusingly, when seen in the world of business and marketing, the phrase ‘tone of voice’ refers to written – rather than spoken – words.