Tone of Voice
How we get our point across
Table of Contents
You've found (or stumbled upon) Prezzybox's tone of voice guide.
This page outlines how Prezzybox say what they say. It covers every member of the Prezzybox family whether they're: buying, marketing, customer services, or technical.
If you're wondering why we're sharing this: we want to be held to the high standards set out in this page. Spot something that doesn't meet these standards, we want to know about it.
Everything you read from Prezzybox should sound like something you would hear in conversation. If it sounds like you're in a board meeting... It's just not Prezzybox!
We won't delve into what we say (our content) in this guide. But we will show you how we say it (our tone of voice).
Why does any of this matter? ❓
Each and every word written is part of a conversation with you. We'd like that conversation to have our personality running through it. That way, you understand who we are. More importantly, you'll understand what we stand for. In the past, we might have got this a bit backward. We walked the walk, but didn't talk the talk.
A lot of you find us by luck, not loyalty. We'd like to change that. After walking through our digital doors, we'd love for you to want to come back.
The words we use are a vital part of that.
The law of the letter 👮
The sections in this guide are things that are considered when we are writing. They're not rules or laws. While the Prezzybox team is a family, obviously we don't all speak the same way. That would be a bit weird.
The best writing is thoughtful. Not all of our guidelines are appropriate in every situation.
Here's a good way to think about it: We all share the same values, but the way we express them is sometimes different. That's why you might get a different experience when you're reading one of our category pages compared to talking to a Customer Happiness Ambassador.
Anything missing? 😕
Language is constantly evolving. So is this page. Anything that isn't included, let us know and we'll write it in. If you aren't sure if it's its or it's, get in touch and we'll cover that too.
All you have to do is let Harry know.
Hic sunt dracones 🐉
Generally speaking, legal areas of our website are exempt from this guide. We'll leave that bit to the pros. We want to protect you. Where things need to be crystal-clear, they'll stay crystal-clear.
Prezzybox Tone of Voice 💬
Our tone of voice is informed by the values we hold as a company. We've condensed these down into our three pillars of writing:
Normal, not formal
Above all else, we want to avoid confusing or frustrating you. We use the language that you use. We care about you dearly, so we try to write clearly.
We're a positive bunch, and have been known to have a bit of a cheeky streak. We aren't a big corporation, so we don't use business-speak. Reading a page on Prezzybox should be like having a catch up with an old friend.
Being a family, we're as open and transparent as we can be. We really do care about you.
Our goal is that every bit of writing makes you feel happy, or at least happier. In the past we've had content which was a waste of your time. Not anymore.
Normal, not formal 🤵 🛇
We'd hate to confuse our audience. A lot of this comes from the language we use, instead of the way we use it. So we steer clear of the language you'd hear from a big, boring bank.
The rule we try to stick to is: Can our message be easily gleaned from the copy? We often test this by talking to the office dogs and seeing how confused they look! If they're looking perplexed, we know we have to rewrite it. If they're just happy to see us - we know we're on the right track.
Deciding what our message is for any piece of writing is what forms the content. Before writing, we ask ourselves: What is the user expecting? This gives us a good direction to aim for. Again, we aren't discussing what we write here. But it's important for you to know how we start.
|Instead of...||...We use|
Let's get serious for a second. The reason why boring business words exist is because people were scared they wouldn't be taken seriously without them. It's important to understand that formal is not the same as serious. Sure, we love to have a laugh as much as the next online gift retailer. But we're still 100% serious about doing the right thing for you, and all of our users.
As my Year Eight English teacher once told me while confiscating my phone; "There's a time and a place for everything." Important life lesson that, Miss Bird. Not nearly as important as beating my high score on Tap Tap Revenge, but there you go.
We like to make people happy. We love making people laugh. At the very least, there's probably something on our site that will make you exhale slightly faster than usual.
We promise to always keep it light. We stay clear of big issues when it comes to cheekiness and humour. We'd hate to upset you.
Sometimes we will create a word by mashing two words together. Sometimes we'll misspell words to be funny. We hope you'll forgive us.
Any jokes we make are always in good humour. We will never poke fun at individuals or groups of people. That just ain't our way.
We are family! 💛
We are a family at Prezzybox. We all care about each other, and we all care about you. We come to work every day to make people like you happy.
Because we want to welcome you into our family, the language we use is inclusive. Obviously racism, sexism, or any hate speech is not tolerated. But it goes beyond that. Our writing should be accessible to everyone, regardless of ability.
As mentioned above, we write so children could understand. Our aim is to make the Prezzybox experience available to everyone.
The Prezzybox commandments 📜
You've got a flavour for how we say what we want to say. Each writer has their own style; but to be clear and understood they have to follow certain rules.
We know, we said that these aren't rules. But, a few things need to be consistent. It helps us look like we actually know what we're doing.
Prezzybox is always spelled exactly so. Uppercase P, one word, lowercase b. Never Prezzy Box, PrezzyBox, or pReZzYbOx.
Get active! 🏋
Active voice is far more interesting to read than passive. We use active voice. It brings us closer to you. It's how you talk to your pals, so it's how we talk to you.
For example, we'd say: Abigail hugged Ben. Not Ben was hugged by Abigail.
Vocabulary Schmocabulary ✍
We use straightforward words that a non-native or young child could understand. We use British spelling conventions where applicable.
We aim to be positive. We won't pressure you into feeling like you have to be our customer. You can check out any time you like, and you can always leave.
We don't like repeating words over and over. If everything is special and unique, nothing is. #deep