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Tone of voice

What we stand for and believe in

In a world that’s often complex and confusing, and where you’re not always sure who you can trust, it’s nice to know you’re dealing with principled people. We can measure our customer relationships in days rather than years.

That’s because we are guided by our unshakable beliefs. Fundamentally, we believe:

  • in the value of trusted professional advice
  • that better choice doesn’t mean more choice
  • that expert investment solutions should be simply packaged
  • that award-winning service and measurable outcomes for our customers should always offer good value.

You might think this is common sense, but unfortunately this sort of sense is all too uncommon these days. It’s all a matter of principle.

Our purpose: Brighter financial futures for every generation
Our ambition: To become the most trusted wealth manager
We do this through
  • Expert solutions, simply packaged
  • Award-winning service
  • Strong, consistent performance
And we believe in
  • Better choice
  • Trusted, professional advice
  • Long-term relationships

Values based criteria - the traits we need to display

Using our values (do the right thing, always curious, embrace challenge and stronger together), we have developed a set of traits which should be evidenced in our writing. Not every trait will be visible in every piece of content, but every piece should demonstrate the traits appropriate to the channel, topic and audience.

Who we are:

✔   Trustworthy and dependable

✔   Stronger together

✔   Pioneering, modern and fresh

✔   Accessible and open

✔   Have pedigree and longevity

Who we are not:

✖   Formal and corporate

✖   Complex and confusing

✖   A new kid on the block

✖   Dark and closed

✖   Old and crusty

Who we are How we speak
Trustworthy and dependable Our expertise makes us confident in what we do, meaning we never talk or act like clichéd salesmen. That’s why people trust us.
Stronger together We are our customers’ partners. We don’t preach or condescend – we share knowledge, focusing on simple next steps and outcomes.
Pioneering, modern and fresh We have a point of view, and challenge conventions. We are thought-provoking because we know how to ask the questions that matter.
Accessible and open We’re refreshingly honest, clear and direct. We are succinct and professional, whilst remaining friendly and approachable.
We have pedigree and longevity Because of our extensive experience we can speak with authority. Our heritage speaks for itself so we don’t need to over-sell ourselves.

Applying the tone to Quilter Group website

Flexing our tone

To achieve a consistent tone of voice, we need to demonstrate our five traits as often as possible, in all of our communications. However, we may need to dial individual qualities up or down, depending on the channel we’re using, the message we’re conveying and the audience we’re targeting.

For the Quilter website all of the traits will be present but the language should be slightly more formal. It should however retain a sense of warmth to imply openness, accessibility and trustworthiness where the primary audience is analysts.

Some content is very factual and naturally dry. However, it should still retain the tone wherever it is within our control, and align to our core values and beliefs. Most importantly, even when one of the traits is dialled down, our overall tone of voice should still shine through.

We can be explicit about our values and beliefs

Whilst in many other cases our values and beliefs are implied in the content and tone, we can be more explicit here. Visitors want to learn who we are and what we stand for.

Grammar specifics

  • Whilst we can refer to Quilter being the name of our group, we do not use the phrase ‘Quilter Group’.
  • ‘Quilter is’, not ‘Quilter are’
  • 'We' or 'us' applies to Quilter plc, not individual companies within the group
  • Individual group companies should be referred to in the third person, i.e. it, its, they

Dealing with jargon

Technical terms can be useful and in some cases it will be necessary for us to use them. How far we should go in spelling them out depends on the context.

If we’re trying to help a beginner get started with investing, we’ll need to be as clear as we can. If our main audience is professional financial advisers or analysts, we can assume they’ll understand some technical terms without requiring explanation.

On the Quilter website, some sections are aimed mostly at analysts, and we can assume a high level of understanding from them. Other sections, such as the careers pages, could be read by an audience which has very little knowledge of financial services, so we should take more care to avoid or explain jargon.

When words become jargon

Words become jargon when you continue to use a complicated, insider term even though there is an alternative that’s easier to understand. Or when we fail to explain a term even though the context means we should.

How to handle acronyms

Like all abbreviations, acronyms can be a useful way to save space and avoid repetition. However they can also alienate an audience that doesn’t understand them. So we should never use one until we are sure the audience will understand it.

If using an acronym, we should use the full version the first time, followed by its acronym in brackets. If the acronym is used multiple times in a long communication, it is worth reminding the reader occasionally by using the term in full again, with the acronym again in brackets after.

There are strict rules about abbreviating any of our company names. In most cases we should not do it on our website.