Whether you work as a sole trader, run a small business, or you’re part of a national/international brand, the thought of creating a tone of voice from scratch, or changing your existing one, might seem like a huge task.
Granted, tone of voice is more than just words, but sometimes it’s the little touches that separate your business from others – that make you sound, across all marketing platforms, different to the chasing pack.
What do I mean?
Well, I’ve mentioned them before (mainly because I’m a customer), but PureGym have nailed their tone of voice. It’s so consistent.
It can even be applied to something as bland as their terms and conditions – on the walls in the changing rooms and dotted around the gym itself.
Look at some of those Ts & Cs, below:
All they’ve done is take run-of-the-mill Ts & Cs, that you’d find at most gyms, and added a bit of personality to them – PureGym’s personality.
Take point number 13. It could easily have said ‘Please wipe down equipment after use, so that others can use it’… which does the job, but it’s a little bit finger-wagging.
Instead, it starts with ‘Sweating is a sure sign of a good workout, but please…’ . It then ends with ‘a touch of deodorant before you work out will also help’.
In essence, it says ‘If you’re sweaty, clean up after yourself’ and ‘if you smell, sort it out’ … but it puts this across in such a friendly, charming way: it sounds like the mate who ‘spots’ you when you’re lifting heavy weights.
Point number 18 is similar. It could easily say ‘When it’s busy, please let someone else use your machine while you rest between sets’.
Instead, it starts with ‘No-one likes queues, so…’, which pulls the customer onside and keeps up the matey tone.
This friendly, charming, matey tone applies across everything PureGym do, in keeping with their laid back approach: from the keyless door entry, to the 24/7 access to gyms, to the hands-off staff (they’ll only come over if you ask), to the notes on broken equipment (‘man down’), to the option of cancelling your membership at short notice, to the basic set-up of each gym – just weights, no frills.
Their consistent tone of voice could’ve started with a full, written tone of voice document, across 30+ pages… but it could just as easily have started with their Ts & Cs, working backwards from there.
The point is, sometimes you don’t have to think too deeply, or go in all guns blazing – sometimes it’s the little touches that make your brand/business unique.