If you tell them they can dial the tone up and down, they’ll take that as permission to ignore it entirely.
3. Flexi-guidelines are impossible to follow
I’ve seen guidelines with matrices in them. Matrices! Comms channels along the top, audiences along the left, and an array of boxes each suggesting a slightly different voice for a slightly different context.
Who’s got time for that? Seriously?
4. It’s bad for your brand
When I say all these things, people always come back with the same thing: But I flex my own voice. I speak differently to my friends and my parents.
That’s fine. We all do. But imagine how much more confident you’d seem if you didn’t. The strongest brands, and I’d argue the strongest people too, are the ones who are unashamedly themselves, always. Nike, Oprah, First Direct, Greta Thunberg.
5. Your people aren’t stupid
If you happen to work for a quirky drinks brand and you’re writing to someone who’s nearly choked to death on a lid, it’s probably a good idea to hold back on the jokes. But that’s just common sense. It doesn’t need to go in your guidelines.
There. I’ve said it. Did I miss something? Tweet us @SchwaUK if so.