We always argue the importance of tone of voice, and that many organisations are yet to respond to the growing need to neatly define theirs. According to the results of a panel debate published in Marketing Week, many others would agree too.
Looking into the effect of language on business, experts from Innocent Drinks, BT and PwC have established a direct link between inconsistency in the tone of voice among various channels for customer service and the lack of consumer engagement with brands.
In a bid to eliminate this inconsistency, brands are advised to develop a unique tone of voice that should be used across all communications – call centres, bills, advertising campaigns and social network interactions alike. Experts believe that by doing this consumers will learn to distinguish the specific tone of voice of the company and will perceive advertisements in the same way they regard everyday interaction with the brand.
Jon Hawkins, head of brand language at BT, says that it took the company five years to fully integrate tone of voice with the brand. When the company uses the same tone of voice across all channels of communication, customers feel more comfortable and “more at ease with the product”, he claims.
His words are supported by Adam Kaveney, global brand language leader at PwC, who thinks that tone of voice should be designed in line with corporate strategy, rather than simply follow universal guidelines. However, he argues that tone of voice can only fulfil its purpose if it is employed by everyone in the company, from top executives to new recruits.
A unified and unique tone of voice will go a long way in adding value to your brand, and organisations like Innocent are already experiencing the competitive advantage that it allows.
What does your brand sound like? If your answer is another brand, or worse, a competitor, it’s time to talk.