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Brand voice

What does Which?
sound like?

Smart
Bold
Down to
earth

Smart

Brand voice smart

We demonstrate our knowledge without being condescending

‘If you do use your pension to buy a Lamborghini, you’ll pay enough tax to buy the Treasury a Porsche.’

We make information short, pointed and punchy so it’s easy to take in

‘You could buy a fridge thermometer and tinker with the settings. Or you could just buy a better fridge.’

We use facts and figures, giving context for clarity

‘The boot is about 60 litres bigger – so the equivalent of an extra suitcase or a bigger backpack.’

We use intelligent humour where we can to make things interesting and memorable

‘Kingsoft Office is, quite literally, the Chinese knock-off of Microsoft Office. As anyone who’s ever bought a genuine Ronex timepiece will tell you, there’s nothing wrong with that.’


Bold

Brand voice bold

We get right to the point

‘Should you buy it? Absolutely not.’

‘On a standard tariff? You are paying too much.’

We speak with conviction – we have an opinion and we’ve done our research

‘This is the CMA’s chance to fix the broken energy market. If it doesn’t, it will fail thousands of people across the country.’

‘Don’t book with Goldcar, no matter how tempting the headline price. As you can see, it’s never the final bill.’

We’re not afraid to ask difficult questions, surprise people, or urge them to think again

‘How private is our personal information?’

We speak from the heart, ever-mindful of the bigger aim: to bring about positive change

‘You should always be suspicious if anyone calls you out of the blue with a money-making deal. If they do, always call them back. Reputable companies will always be happy to let you do this, whereas scammers tend to be more wary about giving contact details.’


Down to earth

Brand voice earth

We’re warm, welcoming and conversational

‘It’s almost results day. We’ve got our fingers crossed for you.’

‘A good cordless handheld vac could have you back in your chair with your Sunday paper and a cup of coffee in less than 15 minutes.’

We treat our audience like equals – they’re smart too

‘To their credit, the pension providers we spoke to seem to be doing what they can to adapt to the new pension environment. They are aware of the hazards awaiting savers if they don’t take action – but the nature of the old-style contracts mean their hands are tied.’

We give people help, advice and solutions to make their lives better

‘If turbulence gives you the terrors, go for seats over the wings. Closer to the aircraft’s centre of gravity, these seats experience less movement. Think of it like a seesaw: the further you are from the middle, the more motion you feel.’

We show understanding and build rapport

‘Upgrading isn’t essential, so the Windows 10 guide starts by helping you decide if it’s the right move for you. Then it leads you step by step clearly through the download and installation process.’

Five tips for getting it right:

  1. Say one thing well

    What’s most important? What gets in the way? Don’t try to tick too many boxes. You risk not ticking any.

  2. Put the audience first

    How are they feeling? How can we help? Think about what matters to them, and start there.

  3. Help every time

    What does your audience want to do? What would it help them to know? Make things useful for them and help them find the solution

  4. Write it like you’d say it

    How would you say this if you were face to face? Say it out loud, then put it on paper.

  5. Bring it to life

    What would make the reader think? Or smile? Or remember what you’ve said in a fortnight? Move one step beyond the obvious.

Five things to avoid:

  1. Claims that anyone could make

    ‘We test toasters rigorously.’

  2. Jokes that make you groan

    ‘What did we think of the Fiat 500? Wheelie good.’

  3. Sentences people tire of reading/writing

    ‘There are so many TVs out there it can be hard to choose which one to get. Our reviews put you in the picture.’

  4. Over-writing

    ‘So if you want to maximise your chance of uninterrupted warm showers and minimise potential for that white box on your wall damaging your wallet, you’ll want to know which are the most reliable boiler brands.’

  5. Under-writing

    ‘Laptop broken? Know your options.’


Get inspired

Here are some examples of us at our best

Brand voice inspired

‘You’re not going to be setting any land speed records, but I think you’ve got enough oomph in there to do an overtake if you need to. You’re never going to struggle to pull out of a junction.’

  • Honest, approachable and personal
  • Grounded in reality
  • Plus ‘oomph’ is a great word

‘The GP doesn’t expect you to come with a diagnosis, but they do need to know your symptoms (think: “I’ve got a cough and a fever”, rather than “I think I might have a chest infection”).’

  • Gives essential inside information you couldn’t get anywhere else
  • Gives advice you can act on
  • Gives helpful examples

‘The website’s got video tutorials – so if you prefer to learn hands-on, it’s ideal’

  • Warm and friendly
  • Instantly helpful
  • About me and what I get

‘Is airline compensation due a upgrade?’

  • Uses a question to draw me in
  • Plays with words, but still works if you read it straight

‘Halloween costumes: a trick or a treat?’

  • Asks a question to draw me in
  • lays with words, but still works if I read it straight
  • Keeps it snappy

‘Which? only succeeds if you succeed too. We’ve written this wellbeing policy to help you:

- feel good at work
- perform at your best
- cope if you get ill, or if things get tough in your life.’

  • Gets to the point
  • Feels warm and supportive
  • Sounds like someone talking

‘We will never stop challenging. Every why, what, where, when and which gets us all closer to the truth.’

  • Makes you feel clever – half way through the list of question words, I’ve worked out where it’s going
  • Makes you feel powerful – you and Which? together, asking questions and driving change
  • Definitive – ‘we will never stop’

Showcase