by Melissa Packham | Featured Contributor
Your brand’s tone of voice is how your brand communicates through every channel and stems from your brand personality. Just like that snobby lady in the premium homewares store, or the friendly and chatty barista who makes your coffee at the local café, your brand will leave your audience feeling a certain way about their experience.
The trick to making sure it’s a positive one that gets them sharing it with their friends. Think about how you want them to feel and how you can make that happen.
Here are 6 ways you can ensure that carefully crafted brand tone of voice leaves your customers coming back for more:
This might seem a little obvious, but so many brands miss the mark when it comes to expressing their brand in an aligned and consistent way on their social media. Social, as we know, is by very definition about interaction and engagement with people on the other end of the profile. So, thinking about how your brand interacts with people here is key.
- Think about writing the copy on each post to make sure it sounds like it’s coming from the same ‘person’ (i.e. your brand).
- Think about how your brand will respond to positive sentiment / comments (like, if your brand is light and fun, will you use lots of exclamation marks and emojis? Or is your brand more serious and formal, so best to keep responses simple and to the point?).
- Think about how your brand will respond to negative sentiment / comments (it is bound to happen, lots of people who didn’t get the memo about not saying anything if they don’t have anything nice to say. So, will your brand get it’s back up and fire back with a witty retort? Or will it respond with kindness and warmth no matter what?
Customer / Client Service
This is probably one of the most important areas to think about how tone can play a role, as this is likely to imprint a really strong impression on your customer or client’s mind about their experience with your brand. Similar to the positive and negative considerations for social media, these direct, one-to-one interactions need to be handled with care both ways.
- If a customer or client reaches out to you with a query or complaint, what sort of people do you need at the other end to manage this with the care and attention that will deliver a positive brand experience?
- How can you further enhance a positive customer experience?
- How might you turn an angry complaint into a raving fan?
- If a customer or client is late with a payment, will you respond with a straightforward and corporate manner? Or will you show more of a human side and loosen up the language a little?
Interaction with Suppliers
The people who help make your business operate (suppliers, distributors, service providers, etc.) are also having an experience with your brand. They might become customers themselves one day, or at least, might influence future customers of yours by becoming advocates for your brand.
- How do your brand values play a role in your supplier relationships?
- How can you show appreciation for your suppliers?
- How will you manage a relationship that isn’t working as you’d like it?
When you’re clear about what your brand stands for and the type of people you want to have working for you, there’s a missed opportunity to attract the right calibre of talent if you write a stock-standard job description and employment advertisement. Don’t be that brand.
- Inject some personality into your recruitment copy so you have more of a chance not only to stand out amongst your competitors, but also to attract like-minded individuals who connect with what you’re all about.
- Use interviews as a two-way process: to vet and be vetted. Don’t just follow a process because that’s “how interviews are meant to go” – create one uniquely aligned to your brand that helps you get better results.
- Write job descriptions that actually represent the role and aren’t copied from a dated template. Think about the values of your brand and the values a person you’d ideally like in the role would need to have to fulfil and succeed in that role.
If you have a physical product, your packaging is a piece of marketing communication the customer will hold in their hands. Use it to your advantage!
- Think about ways to start a ‘conversation’ with the person holding your product in their hands. Reinforce the reason they picked it up off the shelf in the first place, telling them where they can connect with your brand in other ways.
- Not digging the mandatory copy on your pack (from a legal, regulatory or packaging supplier perspective)? Talk to the relevant stakeholders about how you might shake it up to add a bit more oomph, while still complying with laws and regulations.
Speaking of laws and regulations, it’s obviously important and necessary copy to have, but it doesn’t always have to be drab, dry and only interpretable by someone with a law degree. Again, talk to your legal people about how you can express these important messages in a more brand-aligned, audience-friendly way.
- A Returns Policy can go from “Whoa ok, that sounds difficult and nasty” to “Oh wow, they get me and why I might need to return something!” with a few key phrase changes.
- Your contracts, disclaimers and proposals can become less scary and more aligned with your brand values with some simple, human changes.
*It’s ok, some of my best friends are lawyers. Sometimes they forget to put their human hats on when writing this stuff though 😉
Not really sure your way with words is going to cut it? Then maybe you need to think about engaging a copywriter to help you out… that’s what they do. Because you’ve done your homework and know what your brand stands for, you’ll be able to prepare a compelling brief for them to hit the ground running – and the words will flow as if your brand is alive and speaking to you.
When thinking about tone of voice, which brands come to mind for you as being great examples?
I’m a brand strategist and marketer with 12 years’ experience managing some of Australia’s best-loved consumer brands. I help startups, entrepreneurs and established SME businesses shape their brand strategies from the ground up – because your brand is sooo much more than your logo. And it all begins with strategy, not design.
Since becoming location-independent corporate refugee in 2016, I’ve travelled the world and helped build brands for new and established businesses across Europe, the UK and Australia.
When I’m not being a passionate advocate for my clients’ brands, you can find me quaffing craft beer, raiding a stationery shop for more pens and notebooks I don’t need, or not-so-secretly dancing to 80s music. Don’t be shy: connect with me on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or at www.abrandisnotalogo.com.