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Brand copy style guide CONFIDENTIAL for employees, freelancers, and partners UPDATED 12.07.2020

style guide - RingCentral

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Brand copy style guide
C O N F I D E N T I A L
for employees, freelancers, and partners
UPDATED 12.07.2020
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C O N F I D E N T I A L
Who we are Welcome
Our Tone
Style at a Glance
Product Detail Pages
INTRODUCTION COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Introduction 01
INTRODUCTION COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Our verbal identity is all about how our brand shows up in the world. In this guide, you’ll find out more about who we are, how we sound, and the way we write across different channels.
This style guide is designed to evolve over time.
Use it to double check that the words you use line up with who we are as a brand. It's also an easy way to ensure we're always working toward a consistent, cohesive experience for our prospects and customers.
Plus, we have a few examples to help you start writing.
Welcome!
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INTRODUCTION COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
At RingCentral, our mission is to make communications simple and effortless for everyone.
Who we are
We free teams to work together from anywhere with all-in-one business communications and a modern contact center. 400,000
CUSTOMERS
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INTRODUCTION COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
OUR AUDIENCES
IT leaders & corporate decision makers who focus on scale, security, and reliability
Small business owners who need simple, cost-effective tools to get work done
End users who want products that make their workday easier
Who we help
HOW WE SOUND COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
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HOW WE SOUND COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Our voice & tone
Our voice is who we are. It’s the personality behind our words. And, most importantly, it doesn’t change.
Our tone is how we express ourselves. It adapts to different audiences and situations.
HOW IT WORKS
Think about how you might explain RingCentral to a colleague versus your grandmother. Your voice won’t necessarily change. But your choice of words, the length of your sentences, and the examples you use will—that’s your tone.
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HOW WE SOUND COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Our voice
Dependable Because we’re the #1 trusted platform—from our enterprise-grade security to our carrier-grade reliability.
Bold Because we’re innovators who've led the industry for 21 years—and we’re just getting started.
Empowering Because we support teams big and small—our global platform makes collaboration simple and powerful.
Friendly Because we bring people together—after all, we’re a conversational company first.
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HOW WE SOUND COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Our tone Dependable Because we’re the #1 trusted platform—from our enterprise-grade security to analytics and integrations.
Bold Because we’ve innovated and led the industry for 21 years—and we’re just getting started.
Empowering Because we support teams big and small—our global platform makes collaboration simple and powerful.
Friendly Because we bring people together—after all, we’re a conversational company first.
Straightforward We use clear, uncomplicated language and leave no room for doubt.
Confident We respond to customers in ways that are thoughtful and direct to show our expertise.
Helpful We are empathetic when we speak—we’re here to make it easier for people to get work done.
Conversational We invite our audience to join the conversation by always being approachable.
WE SOUND WE SOUND WE SOUND WE SOUND
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HOW WE SOUND COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Straightforward WE SOUND
Make it useful. Make sure users have concrete takeaways. Spark an idea or lead them to an action.
Stay honest. Be authentic and avoid hyperbole by keeping your messages grounded in reality.
Keep it simple. Build trust with users by respecting their time. Always push for clarity.
Make it easy for your team. Our all-in-one workspace is designed for seamless collaboration.
EXAMPLE
From click-to-dial functionality to one-click video conferencing, everyone readily accesses the same must-have digital tools through a single, easy-to-use platform that seamlessly works across office sites and mobile devices.
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HOW WE SOUND COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Confident WE SOUND
Be spirited. Use dynamic verbs to evoke a modern, smart voice.
Defy expectations. Spark curiosity with unexpected phrasing or ideas that express our unique point of view.
Keep it lively. Give your writing a pulse by speaking with confidence.
Backed by enterprise-grade security and a 99.999% uptime SLA. So your most sensitive data is protected at every step, day and night.
EXAMPLE
Experts are proactively monitoring and optimizing our platform 24/7/365, ensuring service remains at the highest level possible, with available 99.999% uptime SLA.
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HOW WE SOUND COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Helpful WE SOUND
Be encouraging. Lead with the product benefit rather than just the feature.
Maintain empathy. Be mindful and self-aware. Try to anticipate your audience’s next move.
Inspire more conversation. Celebrate collaboration and connection. Make recommendations from a genuine place.
Stay plugged in with a platform that keeps up with your business, no matter the time zone.
EXAMPLE
Increase productivity on a global scale by bringing your international teams together with ease.
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HOW WE SOUND COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Conversational WE SOUND
Be welcoming. Use language that flows like the way you speak.
Engage meaningfully. Stay focused on how we want our audience to feel.
Stay authentic. Take inspiration from real life, not an idealized version of it.
Just one streamlined experience with the tools you need to get the job done.
EXAMPLE
From the ashes of a broken system, a unified experience shall arise.
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HOW WE SOUND COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
How we speak
Supportive IT leaders & SMB
Subheads and body copy
We’re here to help you stay connected.
Spirited IT leaders & SMB
Playful End users (Freemium)
All you need is wifi.
CONTENT TYPE
HOW WE WRITE COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
How we write 03
HOW WE WRITE COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Writing tips
Be inclusive Celebrate diversity.
TIP 01 TIP 02 TIP 03 TIP 04
Keep these best practices in mind to make your copy compelling, clear, and conversational.
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HOW WE WRITE COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Be human TIP 01
Use plain language
Choose familiar words over unfamiliar ones. Write the way you would
talk.
Create a more personable approach by being sincere and delightful.
Write in the first person
Speak directly to your audience (not at them) to build a connection.
Are your words overpromising?
Can you replace any jargon with plain language, or words and concepts people are already familiar with?
Could you add more warmth?
Did you opt for contractions instead?
ASK YOURSELF
HOW WE WRITE COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Be concise TIP 02
Keep it simple Strive for clarity by making the complex simple.
Be intentional Mean what you write and makes sure every word serves a purpose.
Write in the active voice It gives a sense of urgency to your message, whereas passive voice can sound flat, long winded, or too formal.
Are you sacrificing clarity for cleverness?
Do you have redundant words or ideas you could cut?
Did you use the right amount of words?
Is there a way to break up complex sentence structures?
Is it scannable and digestible?
ASK YOURSELF
HOW WE WRITE COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Be inclusive TIP 03
Including attention spans, vision, hearing, speaking, and mobility.
Use gender neutral pronouns, when applicable
Never assume.
Did you avoid using these verbs if possible? See View Look for Display
Could these work instead? Go to (Good for links that lead to new tabs) Get Browse Check out Find Read
ASK YOURSELF
HOW WE WRITE COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Stress test it TIP 04
Complement the visuals Your writing always works alongside visual and design elements.
Weave in keywords Use relevant SEO terms and phrases to make it direct and findable.
Remember the context There are levels to our audiences and touchpoints. Adjust accordingly.
Would people unlike you understand it too?
Would they find it immediately useful and clear?
Can you add more SEO keywords?
Did you read your writing aloud?
Does your reader feel seen and understood?
ASK YOURSELF
HOW WE WRITE COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Style at a glance
1. Use the active voice and lead with dynamic verbs.
2. Always use sentence case, where the first letter of the word is capitalized.
3. Avoid using exclamation points.
4. Avoid punctuation in sentence-case headlines.
5. Use an m dash, not a hyphen, to offset an additional thought.
6. Almost always use contractions and the first person.
7. Always use the Oxford comma, or serial comma.
8. Be concise. Try parallel structure.
9. Be consistent with branded terms for products. It’s always RingCentral, not Ringcentral, Ring Central, RC, or RINGCENTRAL. It’s always RingCentral Video, not RCV. And we sell a communications (with an “s”) platform.
HOW WE WRITE COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Stories we tell 03
STORIES WE TELL COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Our messaging approach
These stories often work together rather than independently (like our products) to provide a well-rounded experience. Emotional stories are more expressive than educational ones, while actionable pieces are about routing and conversions.
We tell different stories across our customer journey to attract, engage, and connect.
Emotional Educational Actionable
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STORIES WE TELL COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Make it resonate
PRINCIPLES
Charismatic
We write with a natural rhythm and flow to transform what could be transactional into something emotional.
Feels easy to read aloud Catches readers’ attention to shed new light on a topic
Relevant
We consider our users’ emotional state at every point of their journey.
Think about how people using our products want to feel
Less cliches, more evocative words
Emotional stories WHEN TO USE
Brand: Campaigns, videos, digital ads, customer stories
ATTRACT
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STORIES WE TELL COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Make it useful
PRINCIPLES
Simple
We use just enough words to get our point across about our offerings and services.
No redundancies in ideas and words No jargon or unnecessary steps Fewest amount of words
Clear
We focus on what’s important to our audiences at any given moment in the user journey.
Be accurate with instructions and definitions Next steps, benefits, and features are logical
Educational stories WHEN TO USE
Product Onboarding emails, datasheets, eBooks, product pages, demo videos, support articles
ENGAGE
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STORIES WE TELL COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Make it convert
PRINCIPLES
Consistent
We want to create a seamless CTA experience across every user touchpoint.
Connects purchase and adoption experiences Follows all branded guidelines
Engaging
We use simple and compelling language to drive our readers to take action.
Focuses on driving conversions Follows recommended CTA language Considers upsell and cross-sell opportunities
Actionable stories WHEN TO USE
Brand: Calls to action, sign-up flows, landing pages
Product: In-product messaging, upsell and cross-sell touchpoints
CONNECT
EXAMPLES COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
References 04
EXAMPLES COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
RingCentral
Bring teams and customers closer together on the #1 business communications platform.
RingCentral makes it easy to get work done together with team messaging, video meetings, a modern business phone, and a cloud contact center—all built on the #1 business communications platform.
Work together. From anywhere.
EXAMPLES COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Glip by RingCentral
Get more done together with unlimited video meetings and built-in team messaging.
Keep the team working before, during, and after meetings with free video and team messaging. Now you can chat, meet, and share—all in one secure workspace.
Meet smarter.
EXAMPLES COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Business communications
Team messaging, video meetings, and a modern business phone—now in one secure app.
Work has a new home. Chat, meet, and take calls in a single, secure workspace. It’s everything you need to work together, now in one place.
Message. Video. Phone. Together.
EXAMPLES COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Customer engagement
Support, engage, and build better customer relationships with our omni-channel cloud contact center.
Create a better customer service experience for everyone. Our omni-channel cloud contact center makes it easy for agents to support and engage customers—no matter where work finds them.
Happy agents, happy customers
EXAMPLES COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Security
Enterprise-grade security encrypts all your meetings and conversations.
Protect your data at every level of your business. Enterprise-grade security encrypts all your meetings and conversations.
Private. Secure. Reliable.
EXAMPLES COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Reliability
HEADLINE SHORT LONG
Our carrier-grade infrastructure works day and night to keep you online, all the time.
Our industry-leading 99.999% uptime SLA means our carrier-grade infrastructure works day and night to keep you online, all the time.
Stay connected
ONSITE ASSETS COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Calls to action
Here’s a list of approved copy for buttons.
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MESSAGING MATRIX COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Messaging matrix You can find more ways to speak about our brand here.
Grab approved headlines and short or long copy blocks covering the following categories:
Brand Products Features Platform Industries
EXAMPLES COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Web templates 05
EXAMPLES COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Product overview page We want to get users to request a demo or start a free trial. It’s all about leading with our product benefits.
Get the copy wireframe template here.
What is all-in-one?
additional routing
WHY Demonstrate value of all these
services are used together
Why does it matter to use together?
Why is it right for my business?
Who else uses it?
Educational
Educational
Actionable
Emotional
Educational
EXAMPLES COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Product detail page For a deeper dive, our PDP is designed to educate. We want users to have focused takeaways about our product features.
Get the copy wireframe template here.
What is the offering?
What is included? WHAT
additional routing
WHY Demonstrate value of all these
services are used together
What a the features?
How does it work?
Who else uses it?
Educational
Actionable
Emotional
Educational
Educational
EXAMPLES COPY STYLE GUIDE
C O N F I D E N T I A L
Industry page We want to showcase how RingCentral is designed for every industry and any kind of team.
Get the copy wireframe template here.
Why does it matter to me?
Why is it right for my industry? WHY
Why it makes sense
additional routing
How do I learn more? How can I get support?
WHAT WHY Product features
What are the main features & benefits for my business?
Emotional
Educational
Actionable
Emotional
Educational
Thank you!