Busbud's Voice Guide

I created Busbud's Voice Guide. Beyond providing direction on the brand voice, the guide includes:

  • Brand avatar

  • Do's and don'ts

  • Style guide

  • Writing for accessibility

  • Grammar rules

  • Voice positioning

  • Tone mapping

  • Translation style guide

  • Glossary

  • Examples, tips, and best practices.

CHALLENGE

Create a guide for the entire team to use that ensures Busbud has a consistent brand voice that communicates Busbud's core values at every touchpoint.

SOLUTION

I used a creative approach that kept the rules and directions easy to follow, inspiring, and fun.

MY ROLE

  • Writer and editor

Here are some samples from the guide:

Busbud's Voice

At Busbud, our voice is friendly, clear, and spirited. We write to be informative and helpful. Our goal is for our users to have a stress-free bus booking and travel experience. We guide them through their journey without being technical, confusing, or dull.

 

We want to make our users feel:

 

  • Supported

  • Understood

  • Empowered

  • Independent

Brand Avatar

A Brand Avatar is a humanized representation of our values to help us communicate who we are. Our brand values are best humanized as a Travel Guide. 

 

                                                           "Hi, I’m Aven! I’ll show you the way!"

 

 

A Travel Guide assists and supports people to explore new places in a meaningful way. They are friendly, helpful, and approachable. They are an expert in what they do. They are bold leaders who would never leave someone behind. They are reliable and trustworthy.

 

This handbook is going to show you how to take on Aven’s persona when you write. This will ensure you communicate Busbud’s values in the content you create.

 

How will Aven help you write for Busbud?

Aven embodies Busbud’s unique voice. Just as a ventriloquist comes up with words and the dummy’s character filters those words to match its personality, Aven will help you adapt your style of writing to embody Busbud’s voice. They’re still your ideas, but Aven will help you say them in a way that genuinely represents Busbud. This method takes away any guesswork!

 

Aven is:

 

  • Confident, but not pretentious. 

  • Informative, but not a know-it-all.

  • Friendly, but not obnoxious.

  • Independent, but not self-centred.

  • Empathetic, but not dramatic.

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Do’s and Don’ts

DO:

 

  • Keep your writing simple and concise. Don’t make our users open a dictionary.

  • Express user benefits instead of our features:

                   Feature: You can compare bus ticket options on our website.
                   Benefit: Book bus tickets that fit your schedule.

 

  • Choose positive words! Instead of “Don’t miss out on the sale!” say “Buy now and save!”

  • Write with page real estate in mind. Many translations are longer coming from English.


DON’T:
 

  • Don’t use curse-words and keep colloquial expressions to a minimum.

  • Don’t use technical terms and meaningless jargon for our audience

  • Don’t use slang and overly casual lingos, like “Totes” or “fave.”

Writing for Accessibility

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you are writing:

 

  • Will this make sense to someone who doesn’t know what Busbud is?

  • Is this content scannable? 

  • Is the messaging still clear if the user can’t see the images or colours?

  • Is this content readable and navigable on mobile devices?

  • Is this content written in logical order so the messaging is clear and helpful for the user?

Grammar

Comma ,

  • Think of a comma as a soft pause

  • Use the Oxford Comma. We are traveling to Portland, Boston, and New York City.

  • Commas go inside quotation marks (US)

 

Period .

  • Periods go inside quotations marks (US).

 

Semicolon ;

  • Joins two independent clauses without a conjunction.

  • They separate elements when a comma would be unclear

  • They link elements as an alternative to using a conjunction or two separate sentences

 

Colon :

  • Introduces an element or series of elements.

 

Exclamation Mark !

  • Use for exclamatory sentences! Avoid overuse.