Blog 4.0

3 steps towards consistency of voice

by mgirard on 4 January 2018 No comments

Information 4.0 is spontaneous. Does that mean that your brand image can get diluted into a cacophony of conflicting, spontaneous messages on different media? Not if you strategically design your brand message for Information 4.0.

Step 1. Design a message architecture

Branding is what defines an organization’s voice, which will ensure that communications are consistent across the customer journey.

Sometimes the brand promise and value proposition only apply at a very high, corporate level, and teams find it difficult to derive that message at their level. And because Information 4.0 is highly dependent on context, you need to plan for contextual versions of your brand message.

You can use experience mapping to build your message architecture. Start with questions and pain points your customers face at each stage of the experience, and define what the message should be in each context.

Step 2. Integrate brand messages into a design system

This message architecture can then be implemented as voice & tone guidelines, visual design guidelines, and controlled vocabularies. Term translation choices can also be made in alignment with that message architecture.

Step 3. Automate semantic checking

When the language that goes with the brand has been well identified – and that brand definition remains a human activity requiring a fair amount of creativity and mastery of language – the implementation and checking of these guidelines can be automated.

Tools can run vocabulary and semantic checks to ensure that all content produced is in line with the brand.

All content can make up a consistent offer, spontaneously, on all channels.


What’s your take on consistency for spontaneous content? Share your thoughts in the comments.


I manage digital customer experience projects. With a background in technical communication and information architecture, I develop scalable content strategies and organizational frameworks to deliver the right content at each stage of the customer experience.To me, content and organizations are living systems. I leverage collective intelligence and design thinking methodologies to deliver meaningful innovation.Outside of Software as a Service, I continue to investigate holistic practices through yoga, and I teach content strategy and design at university.I speak about enterprise content strategy at international conferences, and I am an active member of professional associations.

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