Overview: In this article, we will discuss the correlation between brand voice and the tone of voice and how the perfect combination of these two aspects influence the efficacy of your branding strategy.
5 minute read..
Have you ever wondered why your business conversion rate stays low after spending a considerable amount of money on digital ads and other promotional activations? Well, you might need to revisit your branding strategy and see whether you have included a strong brand voice and incorporated corresponding emotions in your marketing strategy. These two aspects play a big role in sending the right signal to your target audience, which will lead to the adoption of your message and eventually, the consumption of your products or services. A 2019 research on brand consistency indicates that companies report 33% of increased revenue through a consistent presentation of a brand's personality, or in other words, consistent use of the brand's voice in the right tone.
But, what constitutes a brand voice? How to choose the perfect tone to convey your message? and most importantly, how can these elements help increase your business conversion rate? Let’s go through them!
- Brand Voice
The brand voice is your brand’s mission statement. It indicates the values that your company believes in and the attitudes your company has towards a certain issue(s). In branding strategy, a mission statement corresponds to a brand’s raison d’être or the WHY - why a certain brand is established and what purpose it aims to fulfill in society. Unlike the tone of voice that could change depending on the context, your brand voice should be consistent across all touchpoints of your marketing communications. It needs to be expressed in a manner that shows your brand’s personality by mindfully selecting words and syntax that are associated with your brand’s selected personality traits.
-Tone of Voice
The tone of voice, as many people believe, is the way you communicate your mission statement. It is also the emotions you put into your messaging so that you can deliver your point effectively. In order to understand how the tone of voice really works, Nielsen Group conducted a rigorous research on the use of tones in messaging and devised the widely-accepted parameters. It comprised of four dimensions;
-How To Define The Right Tone of Voice and Why Is It Important?
The question now is how to define which tone of voice that is most suitable to express your brand’s voice and therefore, represents the personality of your brand in a beneficial way (your branding strategy). Well, similar to human beings, brands may be as well associated with personality traits. According to a research conducted by Jennifer Aaker, a well-known marketing professor from Stanford University, brand’s personality are categorised into five big dimensions; Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication and Ruggedness. These traits combined with your brand’s voice could then be a guiding block that directs you towards the proper tone of voice for your brand.
Also, add to your research a time to conduct social listening around the public’s conversation about your brand. This step will give you a bit of perspective on how to present your voice - whether to reinforce or to counter an existing sentiment that people already have towards your brand. Remember though, your tone of voice doesn’t not have to be either or. You can play with the four dimensions as long as the emotions don’t contradict your brand’s personality and your mission statement.
Let’s take an example from Chanel, a brand with a great story, an interesting branding strategy, and a company with the biggest growth recorded in 2019. During its 100 years of producing high fashion and luxury accessories, Chanel was a fashion house that was on the brink of bankruptcy. Thanks to Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel went to a rebranding project and came out with a stronger message that appeals to high-end and well-educated women. Known for sophistication and daring aspiration (Chanel’s brand personality), the fashion house uses high register vocabulary when speaking and at the same time, delivers its messaging in an eloquent way (formal but enthusiastic). This style is used throughout its digital communication platforms as well as offline advertising. To put this in the context of your business, the first thing to do is to revisit your WHY, outline important details, and piece them together with your company values and culture to create a story - your brand’s voice. Then, analyse the five dimensions of the brand personality chart to see in which category your story fits. Once you’ve got this covered, identify which emotions you should play to convey your message at best. Finally, incorporate these elements in every marketing material (the content) that you will use to promote your products or services.
In short, customers buy products or services to express their needs. But before this relationship happens, they need to feel the connection by understanding your message better. So, owning a consistent voice and clear expression is crucial.
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