Being distinctive in a regulated world
After years of focusing on their visual identity, the brand team at Franklin Templeton realized their pictures could only tell so many words – and their actual words were lacking. They sounded like everyone else in asset management: formal, verbose, and overly technical. If they were going to stand out, they needed to rethink their language – without falling foul of regulators’ rules. What followed was a new tone of voice that captured the spirit of the brand and the opinions of its people, while making even the most strictly regulated communications a more enjoyable read.
Drawing inspiration from Benjamin Franklin
To convince the skeptics at Franklin Templeton to change their writing ways, the new voice had to feel authentic for the firm. So we went right back to its roots.
Benjamin Franklin was known for his no-nonsense approach to finance. Having already inspired the name of the firm, he became the inspiration for the new tone of voice, too.
We summed it up as ‘Speaking Frankly’ – a nod to both the founding father’s name, and his straight-talking attitude. This was backed up by practical principles and guidelines designed to show readers that Franklin Templeton understands their aspirations, respects their time, and speaks their language.
These principles can be applied to everything from highly regulated market reporting to thought-provoking white papers. As long as it’s clear, conversational, and to the point, it’s ‘Speaking Frankly.’
A growing community of better communicators
Following a global program of training, coaching and writing support, almost 1,000 people have signed up to be part of the Speaking Frankly online community, where they celebrate the craft of writing within the firm and beyond.
This whole process has made us realize that most of our people have been dying to be more human in their communications. Now they have the permission – and the guidance – to do it.
Kevin Knighten, Global Brand Director