written by
Freya Laskowski

Exploring 12 Tones of Voice (+ Free Brand Voice Generator)

Content Marketing Marketing Automation 10 min read

Struggling to strike the right tone with your audience? Establishing a tone of voice is crucial to win over potential customers and foster brand recognition. This article explores 12 tones of voice and how to establish one for your brand.

As a bonus, we’re throwing in a free tool that helps you generate your unique brand voice from any URL, ensuring consistency across various communication channels, content, and creators. Can’t wait? Take the AI Brand Voice Generator for a spin immediately.

Let's get started!

Why a tone of voice matters for your brand

Your target audience wants to feel something that compels them to learn more about your brand and why they should choose it over another. You want to avoid inconsistency in your brand's tone of voice. A strong brand voice will help build trust, and loyalty, and enforce effective brand communication and branding.

Interestingly enough, studies show that ads with purely emotional content perform twice as well compared to those with only rational content, and 82% of emotionally bonded customers will buy from brands they are loyal to.

Knowing how to build a recognizable voice that speaks to your brand and builds trust is what will set you apart from all the other brands and ensure that your clientele is loyal to you.

After establishing a consistent tone of voice, it is recommended to create a brand guide. This will ensure that all stakeholders and content creators are informed and aligned during the content creation process, resulting in a unified brand message across all channels.

Tip: StoryChief’s AI Brand Voice Studio is a powerful tool that businesses can use to create engaging and consistent content.

Exploring 12 different types of tones in writing

Brand tone of voice can be anything and everything that you want it to be. Below are just a few of the many examples out there to inspire you to create your own brand tone of voice for content marketing.

A screenshot of Barbox’s landing page.

#1 Friendly

A friendly tone of voice is inviting and builds trust. This tone of voice can sometimes be a little informal, but it always has a warm feel to it.

Barkbox is a great example of a brand that adopted a friendly tone of voice and with a great reason too! The brand sells all things fun and toys for little four-legged friends. When you picture a cute little dog or cat, hopefully, you view them as friendly, which is exactly why they chose this tone of voice. Just like their end-user, the tone of voice is sweet and friendly.

Examples:

  • Tough toys for dogs who play harder.
  • Each toy is designed by us and tested by our dogs to stand up to the toughest chewers. Made with strong rubber and nylon, these toys were made for chompin'.

#2 Formal

The formal tone is exactly as it sounds: formal with clear and zero-fluff messaging. This tone avoids contractions and strives for grammatically correct content that is not prone to colloquialisms. Generally, you see this tone in scientific writing and articles.

The stock market website is a great example of this tone of voice in action. This stock market calendar, specifically, is a great example as it informs the reader and uses a very formal tone.

Examples:

  • Trading volume tends to become lower immediately before holidays and rises immediately after holidays.
  • This can add volatility to the market.
A screenshot of Mailchimp’s email marketing landing page.

#3 Informal

The informal tone is the exact opposite of the formal tone. While the formal tone doesn't use any kind of contraction and slang terms, the informal tone is loaded with it. This tone also tends to use many common or colloquial words (It is characterized by colloquial wording (y'all, wanna, gonna, etc.).

Mailchimp is a brand that adopted this tone of voice and has really seen success with it. The brand went through a successful overhaul a few years back, with one of the main changes being its tone of voice. This adaption has helped this brand reach new levels of success they had never seen before.

Examples:

  • Helping you build your thing is our thing.
  • We prefer the subtle over the noisy, the wry over the farcical. We don't take ourselves too seriously.
An example of Crumbl Cookies’ warm and welcoming tone.

#4 Warm and welcoming

A warm and welcoming tone of voice is one that will be very inviting to the reader or potential customer and invite them to really stay a while and check out the brand.

Crumbl Cookies successfully adopted this tone of voice, and it perfectly matches its brand. When you think of a chocolate chip cookie, hopefully, you think of one coming straight out of the oven with the ooey-gooey chocolate. This idea, paired with the brand's welcoming voice, invites customers to sit down and truly enjoy the experience of savoring their products.

Examples:

  • Everyone is invited to Taste Weekly at Crumbl!
  • A rich cookie bursting with creamy peanut butter, melted chocolate, and crunchy Butterfinger® pieces.
An example of HubSpot’s optimistic tone on its website.

#5 Optimistic

The optimistic tone is characterized by positive and light wording. Everything is positive and happy vibes with this tone of voice!

A brand that successfully embraces this tone of voice is HubSpot. HubSpot is a sales, marketing and service software company that inspires its clientele to improve themselves and reach their potential. This tone of voice works for the brand because it directly aligns with its goals.

Examples:

  • First-rate content to help you elevate your sales efforts.
  • Stay sharp. Learn the latest business trends from leading experts.

#6 Informative

The informative tone of voice is used to inform the reader. Its characteristics are very direct messaging and is generally used when providing data to the end readers. Common adopters of this tone are governmental or scientific entities.

Examples:

  • Terms are for four years but staggered, so the chairman and two commissioners are elected during one election cycle and two years later, the other two commissioners are elected.
  • Some countries' requirements for maintaining licensure, credentialing, and accreditation may also be less than what would be required in the United States.

#7 Professional

The professional tone is very similar to the informative and formal tones; however, it tends to have a more inviting pull to it. The word selection in this tone leans more toward confidence and sincerity. If a brand wants to show authority and trust in its brand, this is an excellent tone of voice to adopt.

Examples:

  • We take pride in going above and beyond to surpass our customer's expectations.
  • Our award-winning design and programming team will work with you to understand what you need and create the perfect website for you.
An example of Frida’s funny tone of voice in its ad for a Snot Sucker.

#8 Funny

Everyone likes a good laugh, and if the brand can pull this off, they should certainly select this tone of voice. The wording selected for this tone of voice is always on the lighter side, and the intent is to bring laughter to the clients' lives.

Frida is an awesome example of a funny tone of voice. The brand realized that there were enough serious tones of voice out there talking about the importance of potty training and keeping children's noses clean, so they decided to have a little fun and adopt the funny tone of voice in their brand.

Examples:

  • The Gaspasser- meet your reliable back-end solution.
  • We are a solution-based brand. The 411 of parenting. The who-do-I-call-in-the-middle-of-the-night-cause-my-baby-won't-stop-screaming brand.

#9 Persuasive

The persuasive tone of voice is used to really convince, or persuade, the reader to a call to action. This tone of voice is characterized by being focused, not stressed, and stable all throughout. This tone of voice is often found in persuasive essays or speeches.

Examples:

  • You should hire me because I know I am the best candidate for the job.
  • Our brand is certain to exceed your expectations with our state-of-the-art technology.
A screenshot of Wendy’s Twitter post

#10 Conversational

The conversational tone of voice is generally used when a brand wants to engage with its customers. Just like a salesperson would chat up their clients, so would a brand chat with its clients through written form.

Wendy’s is a great example of this as the brand loves to post witty and, sometimes, silly things to engage with their customers and get them talking to and about the brand.

Examples:

  • Are you a bacon person or a sausage person? @ us and we’ll tell you exactly what you are based on your profile. Which is probably really unique.
  • This is the first Strawberry Frosty Moon in 4.53 billion years! This won’t happen again until the heat death of the universe 🤯🤯🤯
A screenshot of Nike’s Twitter post

#11 Inspirational

An inspirational tone of voice is very upbeat and positive. The intent of this tone of voice is to inspire others to be greater and do amazing things.

Nike is a brand that has certainly adopted this tone of voice. The brand consistently inspires its audience to, “Just do it” and achieve new levels of excellence.

Examples:

  • An age in which age doesn’t matter and impossible shots are served with a smile.
  • We stand with you to create the change we all want to see.
A screenshot of Harvard’s Twitter post.

#12 Authoritative

The authoritative tone is one that will establish authority in their written content. The characteristics of this tone of voice are firm, strong messages and it avoids any slang or jargon.

Harvard University is an excellent example of this tone. Its posts are fir, messages that are informational, and not playful by any means.

Examples:

  • In 1753, Benjamin Franklin was granted a Master of Arts degree, which is generally considered to be the first true honorary degree awarded by Harvard. Throughout our history, Harvard has awarded hundreds of honorary degrees.
  • Weekly exercise is beneficial whether you space out your workouts during the week or leave it for the weekend

How to establish a tone of voice for your brand

Now that you have some ideas to inspire you in establishing your own brand tone of voice, you need to consider which one works best for your brand. There is no right or wrong answer here, simply because you need to choose which one best aligns with your brand's vision, mission and values.

Whichever one you choose to establish for your brand, you will need to choose and stay firm with that choice. It may take you some time and trial and error to see how the tone of voice will work for your brand, but with dedication and consistency, you will certainly succeed.

Bonus: Free AI Brand Voice Generator

StoryChief’s AI Brand Voice Studio is a powerful tool that businesses can use to create engaging and consistent content. Generate brand voices from existing content and URLs, create content in any desired brand voice with a click, and easily switch between different clients' voices.

Want to see how that works in action? Check out this quick video.

Generate your AI Brand Voice for free

By leveraging tools like StoryChief AI Power Mode, content creators, and managers can automate and simplify brand voice creation and management. Here are some of the use cases of using AI Brand Voice Studio:

  • Effortlessly generate brand voices from existing content and URLs.
  • Create articles, social posts, or other content in any desired brand voice.
  • Perform competitor brand voice research.
  • All stakeholders can effortlessly locate the designated brand voice in the platform, eliminating the need to sift through lengthy and vague brand guidelines.
  • Switching between different clients and brand voices has never been simpler, granting you ultimate control and efficiency in managing diverse brand identities with just a click.

From creating flyers with free QR codes to social media content and videos, your tone of voice on every single avenue should be the same.

Final thoughts on brand tone of voice

As you can see, establishing a brand tone of voice is key to your brand's success. A Nielson study found that ads that evoke above-average emotional responses can increase sales numbers by 23%. So if your brand can successfully establish a brand tone that speaks to your customers' emotions, you will see a direct increase in your sales.

Always analyze your content and fine-tune it to your brand's tone. In due time, you will see the direct result of all your efforts.

After setting your brand tone, it's time to share your content with the world. That's where StoryChief comes in.

StoryChief is a content operations platform that simplifies the process of briefing, collaborating, publishing, and promoting your content all in one place. Effortlessly publish on-brand content in less time. Try for free for 7 days.

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