Maybe Its Your Tone
JoAnna Bennett
JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group
13 July 2017
In the marketing world, there is a lot of talk around brand and message. But something that isn’t spoken about as frequently is tone. What is tone? Why is tone important?

Tone is defined as


  • the general character or attitude of a place, piece of writing, situation, etc.
Why is it important? Because no matter what you say or purport to do, your tone determines whether your target audience will believe you or not. If your target audience has doubts about your intent, your integrity, or your capabilities, then it will doubt everything you say and be suspicious of everything you might do.
A Tale of Tone

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have a Great Dane named Crush. The first two years of his life were rather challenging when it came to training because he seemed to not listen at all. No matter how many times I would call him or how loud I would scream at him, he always seemed to run away.

For about three months, he ran away at least once a day. (We live in the woods, so there was no threat of his being hit by a car, but I still didn’t want my dog to get hurt in the middle of the wilderness.) After a long hard look at my behavior, I decided to try a different tact. Instead of screaming at him to come, I decided to very sweetly ask him to come back. And guess what? It worked.

Months of stress and aggravation resolved, all due to my tone. My poor guy did not want to be hollered at, he simply wanted to be loved and wanted. Since I changed my tone, we have been living in bliss. He even got a new nickname, Pumpkin. Because saying “Come here, Pumpkin!” seemed to work the best.

If you are having trouble reaching your target market or convincing them of your expertise, maybe you should think about your tone. Your character and attitude can play a big part in creating a bond with your prospects and proving your authority on the topic at hand.

Screaming your message at your target audience may be a bit much. Maybe it’s time you try a lighter and more gentle approach.