Voice and Tone

Our Voice and Tone help us appear consistently as “one Visma” while at the same time address different situations appropriately.

 

 

So what is the difference between Voice and Tone?
Think of it this way: You have the same voice all the time, but your tone changes. You might use one tone when you hang out with your closest friends, but another when in a meeting at work.

Your tone also changes depending on the emotional state of the person you’re addressing. You wouldn’t use the same tone with someone who is upset as you would with someone laughing.

 

Voice

Our Voice is constant. We don’t change our voice regardless of what platform we are on, who we speak to or their emotional state.

Our Voice is defined by the Style dimension in our Brand Code: When writing on behalf of Visma, you should be committed, accessible and customer focused. Ensure high quality and don’t be afraid to show a sense of humor.

Our Voice is human. Keep in mind that whenever someone encounters a text, they hear a voice speaking the words as they read them. Hence, you should always communicate one-to-one and write directly to the person you are targeting.

Speak in a plain language. We are experts, but also down to earth. As Albert Einstein famously said: “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it properly yourself.”

Be calm and constructive, even when provoked. It always pays off in the long run.

To specify what our voice is, we can compare what it is to what it isn’t.

Visma’s voice is:

  • Expert but not pedantic
  • Helpful but not patronising
  • Intelligent but not pompous
  • Confident but not bragging
  • Informal but not sloppy
  • Witty but not silly

Tone

Although our Voice stays the same, we adapt our Tone to the situation. So what in a situation do we have to consider when we communicate?

Firstly, the emotional state of the ones we are speaking to. The congratulatory message when someone has successfully signed up for one of our products can be both witty and informal. But if said app crashes, the error message had better not be.

Secondly, where we are speaking. On Facebook we meet people in their spare time. Here, we can be relaxed, entertaining and interact with people. But in a press release we are informative and to the point.

Thirdly, to whom we are speaking. For instance, if you are writing a blog article, always have a clear idea who you are writing for. A 55-year-old CFO doesn’t need to be explained simple financial terms, whereas a 23-year-old cafe manager might.

 

How does this work in practice?

As an example, let us see how we alter our Tone when speaking to people in our Micro segment as oppose the Enterprise segment.

To understand the audience’s emotional state, let’s use our blog as an example. When arriving on one of our blog articles, we can assume that people are curious and interested. They trust us and anticipate to learn something new.

Like with our Voice, our different Tones are defined by the Style dimension in our Brand Code: Committed, accessible, customer focused, Nordic elegance and quality, and humor.

Here is how we can use these dimensions in practice:  

 

When writing for the Micro segment:

Be committed
We root for startups and small businesses. We wholeheartedly want them to succeed. If they succeed, so do we. Let your enthusiasm and support shine through.  

Be accessible
Be informal and enthusiastic. Show some personality and a human touch. There should be no doubt that there is a person writing the article, not a corporation.

Use “you” and “I” and don’t be afraid to share stories and experiences from your own life. Encourage feedback in the comments section and interact with your readers.

Be customer focused
Our blog articles should be relevant, useful and usable. Our readers visit our blog to find tips, advice and guides for how they can make their business more successful.

Always take the small business owner’s point of view. We, and our products/services, should play a secondary role.

Show Nordic elegance and quality
Guess what. To write long, boring and technically pieces is really easy. It is also unacceptable. Work hard to make your copy succinct, crisp, to the point – and entertaining. The competitions for people’s attention has never been tougher, and they don’t have a second to waste.

In the mind of our audience, the quality of our content reflects the quality of our products and services. We should be informal, but not sloppy. Typos and grammatical errors are simply not OK. Make sure to have a colleague proofread your text before you hit publish.

Use humor
Write with a smile on your face and it will transpire in your text. Don’t be afraid to show that you have a sense of humor. But if it doesn’t come naturally for you, don’t force it. No humor is better than bad humor.


When writing for the Enterprise segment you should:

Be committed
We believe that all large enterprises can achieve big productivity gains through automation, integration and outsourcing. We are on a mission to make Northern European companies more competitive by improving their efficiency.

Be accessible
Share your competence. Invite the audience behind the scene for them to understand how our solutions work and how they contribute to improved efficiency. Share your data and numbers. Our advice is free – potential customers are more likely to buy once we have established our expertise.

Be customer focused
Keep in mind that the Enterprise segment cuts across different industries and sectors. Write for a specific target audience. If you are aiming too broadly with your content you will reach no one.

Show Nordic elegance and quality
Even though this audience is technically advanced and well versed in the subject matter you discuss, they don’t deserve boring content. Make it succinct, crisp and to the point

In the mind of our audience, the quality of our content reflects the quality of our products and services. We should be informal, but not sloppy. Typos and grammatical errors are simply not OK. Make sure to have a colleague proofread your text before you hit publish.

Humor
CFOs have a sense of humor too. Be entertaining and witty, but not silly and unprofessional. Using humor not only helps get your message across. It also shows that you are competent, smart and comfortable speaking on your topic. But keep in mind, if it doesn’t come naturally for you it’s better to keep a straight face. No humor is better than force humor.