World First: tone of voice and positioning

Case Study


World First

Type of Work

Tone of voice
Messaging system

Helping World First tell their story

Specialist currency exchange services for individuals and small and medium-sized businesses is a relatively new sector. Ten years ago, if you wanted to exchange currency – particularly in any quantity, you had to use a bank and pay high exchange fees.

Just as importantly, if you regularly needed to exchange currency – because you were an exporter, or simply to pay school or rental fees – you had no access, as an individual or small business, to sophisticated currency exchange methods.

World First was created as an independent currency exchange when the market was deregulated in 2005. By 2011, when we first started working with them, the World First team was already over 100-strong.

Their marketplace, however, was becoming more populated and aggressive. World First knew they offered the best service and rates to their clients, but they needed help conveying that story.

What we did

Tone of voice

As a first step in making World First’s communications pull together strategically, we created a tone of voice that expressed the organisation’s helpful, inclusive and bold personality. 

We audited all their communications, involved stakeholders and set out guidelines to ensure a consistent, warm, professional and easy-to-understand approach. Critically, we included a straightforward mechanism to allow communicators to dial the tone up and down, making it appropriate for all circumstances.

Then we led training workshops to help everyone in the organisation who created communications to adopt the new tone. 

We monitored communications as they were created over the following months, and gave support as and where it was needed until the tone became part of the fabric of the way the company operated.


As well as on-the-day, spot currency exchange, World First offers more complex vehicles – including forward contracts and hedging options. Every time it explained these options to clients, it did so in a different way. Communicators were having to start from scratch every time they started a new piece of work.

We developed an overarching brand narrative explaining World First’s position in their marketplace. We also developed standard ways of explaining core products and services that could be re-purposed in numerous communications.


For a number of years we offered copywriting support to World First, creating everything from their websites and brochures through to radio ads.

You might also find these links interesting:

Tone of voice FAQs
Messaging framework FAQs
Copywriting FAQs