Like it or not, every hotel has a ‘tone of voice’ – a way of writing that expresses their brand. It could be friendly and conversational, cool and aloof, professional and businesslike, quirky and off the wall.
For some brands it’s clearly defined and strategically planned – Mal Maison for example. But for others it’s a mish mash of inconsistent language and messages. This is because for most hotels the way they write has gradually evolved over time – and it’s often been the domain of different people, each with their own ‘style’.
There is no ‘quick fix’ for tone of voice, but these are our top five tips for making your words distinctive and hard working:
1) Think it through
First, consider what your brand is all about, what is your target audience, what language would they respond to… Your language should reflect who you are and what you stand for.
2) Get into character
It may help to think about your brand as a famous personality – someone who perhaps shares your values and would appeal to your audience. Having a well known voice in your head when writing can help breathe more life into your writing.
3) Be consistent
Every time your audience reads your literature they build an impression of your brand. It could be your website, your booking emails, your confirmation letter, keycards, even your laundry list… Think about how you can bring your tone of voice to life at every customer ‘touch point’.
4) Develop guidelines
You may find it useful to develop some language guidelines for your hotel. These could be as simple a single page set of tone of voice values, or a full manual of ‘dos and don’t’. You can then use this as a point of reference for everything you write – and use it to guide any designers or external copywriters who you might use.
5) Flex to suit your audience
Of course, it’s important that you have a clear tone of voice, but you should always have space to flex within this and adapt your voice for your audience. They way you speak to a business and leisure audience may need to be different.
At Ink, we’ve helped a long list of hotel brands, as well as individual hotels, find and implement their own distinctive tone of voice. To find out how we could help you, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01225 731 373.