Tone of voice

Tone of voice is not about what we say but how we say it. The way we communicate is a key tool to building our brand image – how people perceive us. “Write”, our tone of voice guide, helps us communicate effectively and on-brand with our stakeholders.

Four principles guide the way we communicate with all target groups across media and platforms:

  • 1st principle: Personal
    • Be personal. For instance, use “I”, ”you” and “we” instead of “the company”
    • Use the active voice rather than the passive: “The design team developed the project” and not “The project was developed by the design team”
    • Don’t be overly formal in your communication. It makes us seem further away from our target group
    • Consider what matters to the receiver and address these needs

    Whether we are talking to end-users, installers, specifiers or employees, we always strive to have a conversation. We want to be close to them and have them feel that we understand them. To do so, we must communicate directly to them as individuals and talk in a way that is personal and relevant to them.

    We always base our communication on insights about the audience to ensure that our communication is relevant and personal.

  • 2nd principle: Authentic
    • Be authentic and factual about what you want to say
    • Deliver your points in a truthful, straightforward way
    • Always base your arguments on facts and, of course, never lie or twist the truth
    • Don’t use overly "selling" language as this can make us appear less trustworthy. For example, avoid adjectives such as “ground-breaking”, “game-changing” or “cutting-edge”
    • Don’t be arrogant, e.g. refrain from talking badly about others to gain an advantage

    Being authentic means that we talk about real people and real life situations that people can relate to. We strive to be careful, consistent and balanced in our communication and we never write anything inaccurate.

    To maintain long-lasting relationships with our stakeholders, we must create professional bonds that are productive and worthwhile for them as well as for us. By being genuine and honest in our interaction with them, we establish trust.

  • 3rd principle: Inspire
    • Use images and other visual elements to draw attention
    • Have your audience feel and not just understand your message, so you can connect both rationally and emotionally
    • Use calls-to-action to explain what possibilities the audience have. Pinpoint what they can do and how
    • Encourage dialogue and sharing of knowledge and opinions
    Internally, we want to inspire the people we work with. Externally, we want to demonstrate that our expertise has a positive impact in the world. This means we need to communicate in a way that is interesting and inspirational to our stakeholders. We should add a little extra sparkle to a text instead of just stating the obvious. We wish to communicate – not just inform.
  • 4th principle: Simplicity
    • Keep your sentences short and your points clear
    • Prioritise one key message and focus on it
    • Use everyday language – and only technical terms when you know that the target group will understand them
    • Keep your audience in mind. Who you are talking to? How much time have they got? What’s important to them?
    • Less is almost always better. Can you remove a word, sentence or paragraph without compromising the meaning?

    Striving for simplicity is about making things easy to understand. We cut away the unnecessary information and tell people what they need to know – in a clear and straightforward way.

    People don’t have time to wade through complex and long-winded explanations. We stand a much better chance of getting our message across if we keep it simple. When we do, we break down barriers and get closer to our target group.

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