In the last few weeks I’ve been putting together a new guide for our Distilled audience: Finding Your Brand’s Voice. It offers practical and detailed advice on how a company can shape its own tone of voice in order to project a unique and consistent persona.
As part of researching the guide, I carried out a couple of interviews with writers at companies whose copy I admire. It might not come as a massive surprise that UK drinks brand innocent was at the top of my list.
Writer Lucie Bright kindly obliged. Here are some of Lucie's thoughts on language, honesty, and bizarre party antics.
What makes innocent’s tone of voice so well-loved?
We write the way we speak, and we speak to everyone the same way we speak to our friends. (But without the swearing.) We always try to keep things clear and simple wherever we can, and people have always seemed to like that.
Are there things you do to help your tone of voice be consistent?
We only employ people who understand innocent, and then we let them write whatever they want. There aren't really any rules. (Apart from no swearing.)
What is it about innocent’s story that is so compelling?
The innocent story is a real story, about real friends, told truthfully. You couldn't make half the stuff up, to be honest. We've had a lot of fun along the way, and we've not been afraid to talk about that side of it, the human side, the mistakes and the friendships and the parties and the stolen moose's heads. It's all been part of the adventure.
How important is storytelling for innocent?
Everyone who works here knows the innocent story inside out. But to be honest we don't think that much about storytelling normally – unless we're working on something like a TV ad. We just try to speak and write as clearly as we can, telling the truth about our drinks and the other things we make, and hope that all the parts add up to some kind of coherent whole.
Which brands do you particularly like?
There's loads of good, interesting stuff around, more than ever before. We're fans of consistency, across words and design, so we like brands like Selfridges, Rapha, Peppersmith and Hiut Denim, who all have a reliably consistent and good-looking output.
Finding Your Brand’s Voice will be launched in the training section of our website on Wednesday 8th January. Stay in the loop with our new content pieces by signing up to our free monthly video email list.