Ever notice that the best brands all seem to have a recurring theme in their copy? It’s probably because they have set a tone of voice for their brand and absolutely nailed it.

Establishing a tone of voice for your brand is one of the first and most important things you can do to set your brand up for success. A study by Nielson shows that ads that evoke above-average emotional responses can increase sales numbers by 23%. With the right tone of voice, you can tap into the emotional responses of your clientele and immediately increase your sales. So, it should come as no surprise that 82% of emotionally bonded customers will buy from brands they are loyal to.

💡 Read Creating a Marketing Strategy that Works: Benefits, Steps, Tools

Creating that repertoire, trust, and tone of voice that your clients trust will ensure that your brand is successful in every industry it enters.

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Emotionally bonded customers are more likely to choose a brand consistently, advocate for it, and remain loyal even in the face of competition or price changes

In this article, we will look into 7 different types of tone of voices with some examples from companies that absolutely crushed it.

What is Tone of Voice?

tone of voice
Choosing the right tone of voice depends on several factors, including the brand’s identity, target audience, industry, and communication goals

Before we look into why tone of voice is important, let’s look at what it is. Brand voice is what a brand says, and brand tone of voice is how it is said. The expression, “It’s not what they said, but how they said it,” directly applies here.

Every brand should have a unique tone of voice specific to their brand. Whether it’s a funny, formal, or professional tone of voice, every copy you make for your brand should have the same tone.

Preparing yourself is key. In the same way that someone who works the stock market should know the stock market holidays, your brand should always have the same tone of voice. It’s just a necessary step toward establishing authority in the market for your brand.

Studies show that it only takes 1/10th of a second to form a first impression of someone and about 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for people to form an opinion about a website. You can use social listening tools to really know what people are saying about your brand and if your current tone of voice is effective for your market.

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Why is Tone of Voice Important?

A two-part experiment from Nielson found that different tones of voice on a website have measurable impacts on users’ perceptions of a brand’s friendliness, trustworthiness, and desirability.

So, how you portray your brand through tone of voice will directly impact how your customers view your brand.

From simple things like writing a rebranding press release to making your media releases buzzworthy, every copy you create for your brand should have the same tone of voice.

Establishing this tone of voice from the beginning will set your brand up for success from the get-go and establish authority and trust in your market.

7 Different Tones of Voice with Examples

There are a number of different tones of voice you could choose from for your brand. Below we will cover the 7 most successful and popular tones of voice for your brand.

#1 Funny

netflix determ
Netflix is active on Twitter and uses the platform to engage with its customers

This first tone of voice is very successful when done right. Sometimes a brand has something to talk about that everyone else is, so using this tone of voice will help your brand stand out against the masses.

Brands that want to invoke laughter or humor from their customers choose this tone of voice. However, the wording selected is sometimes on the informal side, and the mood is kept light.

Netflix is one of the big-name brands that has embodied the funny tone and does it so well. The brand is notorious for replying to people with funny snippets and, subsequently, promoting its own content. This is well received by its client base and quite successful for the brand.


A screenshot of Netflix Uk & Ireland’s funny post on Twitter.
Netflix Uk & Ireland’s funny post on Twitter

Netflix uses a warm voice and frequently posts playful texts and messages like the ones above. It increases engagement spectacularly and creates trust in the brand.

Read Revolutionizing PR: How AI-powered Media Monitoring Can Benefit PR Professionals

#2 Optimistic

A screenshot of Coca-cola’s Twitter page.
Coca cola GB on Twitter

The optimistic tone is characterized by positive and light verbiage. It always keeps things on the lighter side and avoids negativity or any potential negative outcome. The key to having this tone is empowering your readers and potential customers through your positivity and optimism.

Coca-cola is known for having this warm and optimistic tone of voice. With more than 130 years on the market, its tone of voice has always remained the same, and customers love and appreciate it.


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#3 Formal

The formal tone is clear and straight to the point with zero fluff. The tone always uses proper grammar and avoids contractions and idioms. This tone is mostly found in publications and articles in academic writing. So, when you think of this tone of voice, consider it one for academic experts or an audience of experts.


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#4 Informal

Example of Business Insurance article with an informal tone of voice.
Example of Business Insurance article with an informal tone of voice

The informal tone is characterized by common wording (girls, guys, cool, etc.) and contractions. Informal writing is pretty common in day-to-day writing, especially when writing to family or friends.

Sometimes a brand that covers more complex information may choose to use this tone of voice to make it easier for the reader to understand. 

Business Insurance USA is a brand that tried this and simply got it right.

This article is a great example as it speaks of plumbing contractor license requirements. Obviously, this subject matter is not everyone’s cup of tea and can be difficult to understand. So the brand chose to use an informal tone to try and reach more readers and potential customers.


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#5 Friendly

A screenshot of LaCroix Water’s Twitter page
LaCroix Water’s on Twitter

A friendly tone of voice is generally warm and inviting. It elicits trust from the reader and makes them feel welcome. Sometimes this tone of voice may come off on the informal side, although it may sometimes be formal on the rare occasion. 

LaCroix adopted this tone, and it has worked really well for the brand. On ads and through social media, the friendly, warm, and inviting tone prevails. Customers respond well to this tone and interact well with the brand on social media platforms.


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Love is in the air and bubbles are everywhere!

#6 Entertaining

A screenshot of Mint Mobile’s Twitter account with entertaining captions
Mint Mobile’s on Twitter

The entertaining tone of voice is exactly as it sounds. It looks to entertain readers and potential customers. This tone of voice aims to keep things light and entertaining enough that customers will keep coming back to its brand.

Mint Mobile is an excellent example of this through its ads and online copy. The brand always has a play on words and playful ads that its customer base responds well to.

Read How to Do a Brand Analysis

A screenshot of Mint Mobile’s Twitter account with entertaining captions.
Mint Mobile with entertaining captions


The only thing we’re inflating are these pool floaties.

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#7 Professional

A screenshot of The Patel Firm’s website with a professional tone of voice.
The Patel Firm’s website with a professional tone of voice

The professional tone is confident and sincere. Brands that want to show authority in their field can adopt this tone and be successful. This tone of voice avoids being informal in any way and does not post gimmicky or funny posts. The intent of this tone is to be professional and to the point.

The law firm, The Patel Firm, uses this tone with great success. The firm is confident in its field and portrays trust to its reader. Trust is essential for the law firm to build as the customer will need to trust the firm to do their job and help them out in a time of need.


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How to Choose the Right Tone for Your Brand Voice

Choosing the right tone of voice may be a difficult decision to make. The first thing you should consider before establishing what tone of voice you will use is who your end audience is and what your goals are.

Information such as who will be purchasing your products or using the service you provide is essential for this decision-making portion of building your brand and establishing your brand’s tone of voice.

The way you speak to a millennial and the way you speak to a Gen Xer may be completely different depending on your purpose. Additionally, where you will be posting your copy is a key factor in choosing your brand’s tone of voice.

Studies show that Instagram (47%), Facebook (38%) and YouTube (36%) are the social platforms people now look to most for purchasing inspiration.

Research also shows that 47% of people who follow brands on social media are more likely to visit that company’s website. Learning how to use Facebook lead ads and stand out from other brands will help your brand succeed.

Final Thoughts on Types of Tone of Voice for Your Brand

Yes, choosing the right tone of voice for your brand is a difficult decision you should not make lightly. Being equipped with the right information and statistics should empower you in your decision-making process.

Studies show that ads with purely emotional content perform twice as well (31% vs. 16%) compared to those with only rational content. So, regardless of what you are selling or the service you provide, you do not want to just focus on data and why your brand is the best. Appealing to customers’ emotions and tapping into them for the tone of voice is a recipe for success.

Once you have chosen your brand’s tone of voice and implemented it in your copy, you can manage your brand reputation through media coverage, public sentiment, and competitor analysis. Determ has excellent media monitoring software that will help you know how your customer base responds to your brand’s tone of voice.

Freya is an SEO consultant that helps brands scale their organic traffic with content creation and distribution. She is a quoted contributor in several online publications, including Business Insider, Fox Business, Yahoo Finance, and the Huffington Post. She also owns CollectingCents- a personal finance blog that she grew from the ground up. 

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