By Deborah Wroe

Have you seen the film Happy Feet? I love it…penguins dancing and singing, what’s not to love? In this Warner Bros animation every penguin has a unique song, a heartsong which they use to attract a mate. Poor Mumble, a penguin chick from parents of fine voice, is sadly lacking in the singing gene but more than makes up for it with his tap dancing. Mumble tries to woo his hearts’ desire Gloria by faking singing with the help of a friend, but in true motion picture feel good film style he wins her over with a bit of dancing.

What has this got to with marketing and communications? Tone of voice, that’s what. We could learn a lot from these penguins in the film. They each have one song, unique to them. You hear Boogie Wonderland in the film and you know it’s Gloria. Kiss? Norma Jean. Do your customers know it’s you when they see your words?

What is your corporate tone of voice? Do you have one? Is it identifiable?

Your corporate tone of voice needs to be consistent across all media. You might think it means having a single writer, not necessarily. Set out your style and tone and build up a style guide for all staff to use. Which words are in? Which words are out? Does humour play a part? Are you corporate in style, are you quirky, cheeky, or factual?

Does your social media reflect your website? And does your website match your flyers and corporate literature? Does your literature match your point of sale material? If your messaging is confused and your tone of voice is confused it is likely that your customer will be confused too. Through your tone of voice your customer should understand what the brand personality is and what the essence of the brand stands for.

Confusing messaging and tone will not win you your Gloria.

Now watch this, it’s lovely….Happy Feet Trailer