I absolutely love Innocent. I’m far from alone in this; their smoothies, juices and veg pots sell by the thousands each day across the world, but it’s not their products that I’m so enamoured with. What I really admire is their tone of voice used throughout their content marketing.
The writers at Innocent have shaped a distinctive content marketing strategy with a tone of voice that is completely owned by the brand. It has helped to catalyse them from a tiny British enterprise to a multimillion-pound international company. Few other brands have a tone of voice that’s so instantly recognisable, and as a content writer it’s hard not to be impressed by their copy that’s stunning not in its sophistication, but its sheer simplicity.
Many brands are now trying to emulate Innocent’s content marketing strategy and tone of voice in their own copy, and while I wouldn’t recommend replicating it wholesale, I believe there are four main principles of the Innocent tone that all brands should try to adapt.
Get on your customer’s level
Innocent’s lively tone of voice resonates because it feels like talking to a friend. Their language is warm and friendly, chatty yet clear and concise, and you don’t need to dig out a dictionary just to make it to the end of a sentence. Put simply, it’s human !
This instantly puts Innocent on the same level as their customers, its content marketing that helps readers to foster their trust. It feels authentic, a trait that brands often try to convey, yet is lost in an attempt to sound authoritative. Speak to your customers in much the same way as you’d speak with them in person, and you’ll help bring your brand to life.
Write half the words, make twice the impact
As Thomas Jefferson once stated, “The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do”. Innocent’s economical vernacular makes for a punchy read, whether it’s a blog post or a bottle label, aided by the use of short sentences that are easy and quick to read.
That’s not to say that elaborate, technical and academic language doesn’t have its place in content marketing. But when you’re trying to communicate with as many people as possible, especially online, your content needs to cut through the noise and get your point across. Repeat after me: Be Succinct to Start Seeing More Success!
Tickle their funny bones
It’s Guy Forks Day. pic.twitter.com/QpixtughLm
— innocent drinks (@innocentdrinks) November 5, 2014
Whether it’s with a witty pun or a groan-inducing joke, Innocent never fail to put a smile on your face. Their mischievous, almost childlike sense of humour runs through every line of communication, and you only need to take a glance at their Twitter account to see that it works.
Of course, jokes aren’t appropriate for every brand, or at least they’re not appropriate all of the time. But humour plays an enormous part in adding personality to a brand, and when used correctly (and inoffensively) it’s a powerful tool, especially for building social engagement.
Use evocative and colourful language
I’m referring to adjectives rather than profanities, of course, but graphic language is something that Innocent use really well. Their smoothies are ‘tasty’, ‘juicy’, or ‘refreshing’; the fruit they use is ‘mouthwatering’, ‘squeezed’, or ‘crushed’. Don’t those words just make you want to drink a smoothie, right this second?
If you can inspire a physical or emotional reaction within a reader, they’re more likely to remember what you say. It’s easier to do this when describing food rather than, say, computer software, but consider how you’d want customers to describe your product to their friends, and you’ll soon find the perfect words to use.