TUESDAY 9 FEB 2021 8:28 AM


In extensive research across the communication and marketing directors of more than 200 brands, brand language consultancy Schwa found that 46% of industry directors think brands have become soft in the pandemic, with many losing their individual identity. In response, the behavioural scientists at Schwa have created The Tone Test, a systematic solution to this previously subjective problem.

Rachel Phillips, marketing and brand director at network service provider Freshwave said, “Since you can never tick tone of voice off the list as ‘done’ and we’re always looking for ways to improve, it’s great to have some practical steps suggested for what we should be concentrating on next.”  

The test can be used anywhere in the world and works by analysing company performance across four categories. It looks at the basics to see if the company has a tone of voice to begin with and whether enough people have been included in creating the tone of voice (as the more people are involved, the better it will stick). It also checks if the company has consistent reminders on how to use the tone of voice (such as holding training or events) and finally, whether the company is measuring the business impact of the tone of voice.

The test provides practical advice tailored to the test results, which are diagnosed as a percentage. A score of over 50% is considered good and over 70% excellent.

Meg Roberts, creative director at Schwa, says, “People often ask us how their company’s tone of voice is doing. We always tell them that it really needs to be an ongoing programme, little and often rather than a big day of training every couple of years.” The Tone Test works to support this continuous process by offering systematic measures, practical advice and sustainable results.