Voice & Tone

intro

Brand voice is our personality. It’s the words, phrases, and characteristics unique to our brand that set us apart. Brand tone is how we communicate who we are. It’s what happens when we turn our brand personality and point of view towards a specific target audience.

Each brand pillar is supported by voice and tone principles to help you embody the voice of OpenTable in all your communications.

Voice Principles

Warm & Welcoming

Everyone appreciates being recognized as an individual. From the first point of contact, we make our audience feel welcome, unique, and part of the family.

Supporting Characteristics: Human, personal, encouraging, genuine, respectful

How to:

Lead the way

Like a welcoming host, orient your audience by being gracious and direct, not pushy. In addition to telling them what you want them to do, also share the why and the way, so they may feel guided, supported, and confident.

Be friendly, not best friends

Relationships take time to develop; speak to your audience with authentic warmth and gregariousness, not false intimacy.

Use familiar language

Our audience isn’t necessarily technical, so use language that is simple yet smart, relevant, clear, and conversational.

Speak from the perspective of your audience

What motivates your audience’s interest in your message? How much familiarity do they have to what you’re speaking about? What is their context? Take your cues from your audience and meet them where they are.

Be memorable

Leave an impression. Bring to life the dining experience—after all, that’s what we’re all about.

Inspiring & Reliable

We empower restaurants with technology that helps them run their business, and we give diners the tools to discover, book, and pay. Why? Because we love what happens around the restaurant table. Inspired by what’s next for restaurants and diners, we put ourselves in their seats and always say what we mean and mean what we say.`

Supporting Characteristics: Insightful, supportive, responsive, seasoned, consistent

How to:

Let your experience speak for itself

Show, don’t tell, that you’re knowledgeable and credible. Offer insights that provoke thought, inspiration, or action.

Be considerate

Respect your audience’s time. Make things easy for them. If you ask readers to take action, let them know why.

Be consistent

Ensure the language you’re using is what is used company-wide. It’s confusing when multiple terms are used to express the same thing.

Be one step ahead

Ask yourself, “How can I make this better?” Anticipate needs before they arise, and be generous with what you know. A great attitude goes a long way in showing we’re here to help.

Be Fresh & Current

Like the best host or wait staff, we’re always one step ahead of the moment. Grounded by a unified sense of who we are, we anticipate the changing needs of diners and restaurants.

Supporting Characteristics: Bright, crisp, positive, smart, modern, memorable

How to:

Be on trend, not trendy

Speak from the perspective of being a modern company with a long-standing commitment to an industry it has deep knowledge about. Avoid sounding stiff, stuffy, dated, or conversely, too hip.

Be positive

Use language that is fresh, uplifting, and when appropriate, encouraging. Always frame things in the affirmative. Refrain from beginning sentences with “no.”

Be engaging

Use active language, bring a sense of adventure to what might otherwise feel mundane, and avoid repetition by adding an occasional element of surprise to keep things fresh.

Be mindful of the medium

A keen sense of humor is key to our positive tone. But remember that humor has a shelf-life; what is at first funny can age quickly. Consider the context, and how long the messaging will exist, then craft wit accordingly.

Be global

Consider cultural nuances, customs, and behaviors particular to each international market. In general, write from a global perspective—especially for content with a long shelf-life. For example, emails may be targeted to specific audiences, while in-product language needs to appeal to a global audience.