Voice. Tone. Personality.

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This may be sacrilege in the brand planning community but I’m not a big fan of tone, voice and brand personality.  I believe those are words born of ad agencies not true brand strategists. Tone isn’t a strategy.

Tone and voice are the domain of the creative agency. Of the campaign.  That’s not to say those things aren’t important, they certainly are. Tactically.  So long as they advance the brand strategy: “an organizing principle for product, experience and messaging.”

Brand strategy defies what is business-winning in the market pursuit. Creativity in delivering that strategy is what agencies do. Making the claim and proofs original. Interesting. Captivating. And those pursuits may require a change in tone and voice from time to time.

George W. Bush once used a phrase I loved talking about cowboy wannabes. “All hat and no cattle.” My brand planner take on that when disparaging a marketing campaign would be “all voice no strategy.”

Peace be upon you.