Engaging with customers is critical to business success. So too is branding, including your identity, image, and brand voice. But how do the two relate?
In this post, we’ll discuss why it’s vital to get your brand voice right to stop it impacting customer engagement negatively.
Brand Voice: The Basics
Brand voice refers to the tone your company uses in a range of different media. It covers everything from customer service and product descriptions to email marketing, social media and TV adverts.
But voice in this sense isn’t about diction, pitch, and intonation. Instead, there are a number of different elements that contribute to your brand voice:
Naturally, the words you use are pivotal. There are over 170,000 words in the English language, and the ones you choose can make a big impact on your brand voice. Consider the difference between someone having a soiree, a party, and a shindig. A lot of this comes down to the people you’re targeting. It’s no use throwing around neologisms (new words) if you’re selling pension plans to retirees.
Beyond the formality of language used, you should also consider dialect and regional norms. A brand using Alabama slang might really connect with a southern audience but lack a universal appeal. Alternatively, doing so in small measures could simply strengthen the brand’s image and authenticity.
Some brands are short. Snappy. To the point. Others prefer to mull things over, taking the reader in and out of different clauses – however complex it may be to read – in an effort to portray sophistication and class.
Does your brand ask questions? Maybe you like to exclaim things! Or command readers, if you’re brave. Whatever the case, these structural differences can also contribute to your overall brand voice.
Over the past decades, we’ve seen emojis become an integral part of the way we communicate. As such, they’re an important consideration when it comes to brand voice too. Some brands choose to avoid them at all costs, seeing them as unprofessional. Others use them sparingly 😊. While some embrace them wholeheartedly to set their social posts and emails alight (🔥 🔥 🔥) for a modern audience.
Above all else, what’s the overriding tone of your brand? Are you light-hearted and fun, or serious and sombre? Do you put the customer in charge or take authority yourself and guide their way? Some brands like to stay traditional and formal. Others like to sound cool, modern, and always up-to-date with the latest “sick” buzzwords.
As you can imagine, these distinctions can influence many of the elements above; so it’s important that you decide on a tone and stick to it.
How does brand voice affect engagement?
Your brand voice can have a huge impact on customer engagement. Why? It shapes the way existing and potential customers read or hear about your brand. Imagine being told a story by someone who’s friendly, interesting, and relatable. Compare that to the same story from someone who’s boring, annoying, or just a million miles from the way you speak.
It’s the same message. The same bones of a story. But one is likely to engage you and the other probably won’t.
This is backed up by findings in our 2022 Consumer Survey Report. 52% of consumers reported a sense of frustration when receiving communications that are not relevant to them, and 42% said they would be less inclined to shop with brands that didn’t tailor communications. While this includes the content itself and whether it concerned the right products and services, brand voice plays a part too.
Quite simply, your brand voice needs to be tailored to your audience to stop it hurting customer engagement.
How to Make Your Brand Voice Engaging
There are three key elements that contribute to an engaging brand voice…
Firstly, as above, it needs to match the audience you’re engaging with. Cool, modern brands don’t communicate the way they do for the fun of it – they do so because they’re targeting a cool, modern audience.
Take time to consider who your audience is and how you can engage them with a voice that’s relevant and relatable.
It’s all well and good identifying the ultimate brand voice, but it does need to match your brand identity to some degree. Today’s consumers can see right through brands that aren’t authentic – and a lack of authenticity can be devastating for engagement.
You don’t have to overhaul your entire brand to match your ideal voice. However, it’s probably not best to use slang and casual communication when your products have a premium price point that excludes the average Joe, for example.
Finally, it’s important to be consistent. Your brand voice is used on a variety of different platforms, including your website, social media pages, print advertising, digital ads, product packaging and even customer service staff.
It’s your job to make sure that relevance and authenticity is maintained across the board. After all, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Tailoring Your Brand Voice to Your Audience
The first step in perfecting your brand voice is learning about your audience. That creates something of a ‘catch 22’ if you don’t have a starting point. How do you engage your audience and improve your brand voice if your brand voice is preventing you from engaging your audience?
At 3radical, we see it from a different perspective. Once you start learning about your audience, you can improve your brand voice and learn even more. Your audience can be segmented with content made even more relevant based on what you know about them.
We create gamified customer engagement experiences to do exactly that. Starting with the basics, we can help you acquire new customers and discover simple demographics about your audience by inviting engagement with exciting experiences.
Once customers are on board, we’ll design bespoke journeys that keep them coming back for more via mutual value exchanges that continue to give you insights into your target audience or multiple audiences.
We’ll create a two-way conversation that keeps customers engaged. The result is a cycle of increased value for both your brand and your customers. The more you learn about them, the more authentic, relevant, and consistent your brand voice can become. In turn, that improves trust and drives brand advocacy, making people more willing to share even more with your brand.
If you’d like to find out more about our customer engagement solutions and how they can help you connect with your audience in the long run, don’t hesitate to contact us today.