The Brief

To extend Tonkotsu’s existing brand ID into a workable voice. 

Tonkotsu founders Emma and Ken couldn’t work out why their tone of voice wasn’t easy to put into practice, even after a successful branding project. 

They asked us to help them pinpoint the issue, and create a TOV that’s usable day to day for the in-house team and easy to grasp for the freelancers and agencies who need to hit the ground running on projects.

Our Approach

We kicked off with an email survey and Zoom interviews to find out what Tonkotsu customers and fans love about the brand, then we spoke to marketing manager Ash about how she uses the current TOV guidelines, and founders Emma and Ken about the back story and what’s most important to them. By covering all angles, we were able to see where Tonkotsu’s brand values overlap with their customers’ motivations and direct the TOV at that sweet spot.

We took the team through the development process step by step to make sure they were comfortable with each element:

  • presenting the research 
  • agreeing on the key pillars of the TOV
  • establishing what these pillars mean in practice and how this sounds
  • talking through the main messages we need to land

What we delivered

A full set of Tone of Voice guidelines, as well as a single-page desktop ‘cheat sheet’ for day-to-day reference. 

To make sure the TOV works in practice as well as on paper, we ran a workshop with Ash and recorded it for future use, so that anyone tasked with writing for the brand can be completely comfortable with how to bring the Tonkotsu voice to life.

Emma Reynolds


We were initially sceptical about spending additional budget on TOV development after the branding work we’d already done, but we totally get it now we’ve got a voice that really sounds like Tonkotsu. We weren’t expecting to enjoy the process as much as we did.

Ashleigh Muri


I feel super-confident about voice when I sit down to write now, whether I’m posting on Instagram or pulling together new web copy.

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