BriefWhen a company grows fast, it’s hard for the brand to keep up. What was fresh last year sounds tired today. Kaltura, a software company specialising in video, approached me to solve this very problem. The marketing team wanted my help to define a new brand tone of voice, codify it in a set of tone of voice guidelines, then train their writers to use it properly.
ThoughtsThis project was designed to help Kaltura 1) save time, by empowering everyone who writes on behalf of the company, and 2) make money, by communicating more consistently and effectively with customers. Creating a new tone of voice for a company with four divisions and nearly 1,000 employees could be a nightmare. Thankfully the Kaltura marketing team are great to work with. The first step was to run a tone of voice workshop for eight decision-makers, helping them define their new written personality using the 11 Primary Voices of Commercial Writing.
ResultThe mutual trust and respect made for fantastic collaboration and excellent results. These include:
- One tone of voice workshop
- Four writer training sessions
- The new tone of voice adopted throughout the company
- One comprehensive set of tone of voice guidelines covering 10 different marketing channels
What the client said
“Olly came in to help us develop our new tone of voice, then write the guidelines to get all 900+ people using it. Throughout the six months or so of working together, Olly was efficient and easy to work with. Anyone who met him along the way commented on how useful, illuminating, and fun his sessions were. Of course, that meant they gave 100% to the process and became champions of the new tone of voice, just like we hoped. Olly’s can-do approach, flexibly, smarts and writing talent made him the perfect partner for levelling up our brand story and comms”
Nohar Zmora, VP Brand Marketing – Kaltura
Kaltura sample content
From the tone of voice guidelines
Principle #2 Clarity: we write how we speak
When we speak, our priority is to be heard and understood. So, we tend to use simple words and short sentences. When writing for business, our priorities change. We want to sound professional, so we start using longer sentences and more fancy words. But you don’t have to use long words to be taken seriously. Authority comes from clarity and explaining things clearly, using everyday language, makes you seem smarter. Even The Economist and The Wall Street Journal use mainly short words and sentences. And just like them, we keep our writing as simple and concise as possible.