How to destroy your brand with just one sentence

Tell me how this makes you feel: “Please return the information requested within 21 days of receiving this letter… failure to do so will result in this case being closed and a new form will need to be completed.” I found it rude. It made me feel angry. I wanted to tear the form up […]

If you work with language in business, what do you call it?

tone of voice brand language brand tone verbal identity or… something else? New clients generally come to me asking for ‘tone of voice’. But is that because it’s the name I use? Maybe all the people who are thinking about ‘verbal identity’, or ‘brand language’ just don’t find me – a case of confirmation bias, perhaps. […]

What training leaders taught me about tone of voice

I was gazing out at 100 leaders yesterday, and every one of them had a hand in the air. I’d just asked how many were aware of their company’s tone of voice. What was gratifying about the response was that they were members of the UK/Ireland management team of BCD Travel, my long-standing client. We […]

Why your business is a bit like this cake

Imagine your brand is a cake and your writing’s the icing. However gorgeous that icing is, the first bite will tell you whether the cake’s the perfect sponge, or has gone a bit stale. So, if you have a strong brand that reflects the reality of the business (our perfect sponge), your tone of voice […]

Is Bioweapon Defense Mode a tone of voice triumph?

Have you ever sat in miles of smoking traffic and wondered how much crap your lungs are taking in? With all the recent news on air pollution, working with our client the British Lung Foundation, and having been diagnosed with Bronchiectasis, air pollution has been on my mind lately.   I was on my way […]

Why garbage grammar don’t get my goat

I’ve just come back from running a couple of days of tone of voice training. And the conversations we had on the course reminded me of the quirks of English grammar and some of the odd things we learned at school. The rules of grammar aren’t simple – if they were, no one would argue […]

Your customers are NOT loyal to you

We are not loyal. We don’t want a relationship with you. And no, you don’t have permission to chat. Customer loyalty is a term I have a problem with. Companies use it with abandon. They seem to think if only they have good enough offers, or more points to collect, we’ll be loyal forevermore. Loving […]