WeOwn – tone of voice guidelines
The fintech industry is changing; consumer-friendly start-ups like Starling, Monzo and Revolut have rapidly grown into major market players, and their success is partly down to having a really great tone of voice.
Alternative business finance platform, WeOwn (known at that point in time as Own), wanted to create a brand tone from scratch that would convey its energetic, dynamic approach to financial services technology, but still showcase its serious credentials when it comes to developing game-changing software.
I really love being given a B2B brief that allows me to be creative, and I was also responsible for writing WeOwn’s marketing collateral, including their website, so I needed to write tone of voice guidelines that I could live by – not just dictate to others. It was really important that we included practical examples of brand voice in practice, and also focus on how tone and content could be adapting when addressing the many audiences that WeOwn needed to reach.
Here’s a sample of the tone of voice guide copy…
What do we sound like?
Before we start unpicking our tone of voice in detail, we need a starting point. An elevator pitch; something that describes our content personality quickly and easily. If this was an online dating profile, we’d be describing ourselves in five words.
As it is, we’ve come up with four statements that summarise what we sound like. The essence of these should run through all future content:
- We’re positive and upbeat
- We’re unassuming without being patronising
- We talk the language of people, not technology
- We’re not afraid of a little light entertainment
Let’s unpack these statements a little further to see how they work in a real-life content marketing context…
We’re positive and upbeat
Boring is the enemy in content marketing; if you’re going to say something, make it interesting. Many companies do this by creating a climate of fear and urgency in their copy, but we prefer to motivate and inspire.
The language we choose in our WeOwn branded materials is designed to make our audiences feel empowered, stoking the fire of ambition. It’s not about dissing other ways of raising capital and building investor relationships; it’s about showing that our approach is better.
Rather than fixating on how long traditional fundraising methods like IPOs can take, we focus on the benefits of embracing digital investment platforms – reinforcing the sense of opportunity with terms like ‘forward thinkers’.