In the retail industry, competition is fierce and brands need to do everything in their power to make sure that they attract the attention of shoppers. Sometimes, it’s not just about a large budget or an innovative campaign. The simple, elementary things can make it or break it.
In this article, we are going to focus on the brand voice. This critical element is sometimes overlooked and it can have a major impact on the image of the brand and on customer loyalty.
What is a brand voice?
Any brand, no matter the industry, needs to have a voice. But what exactly is a brand voice?
When somebody calls you from a number you don’t recognize, the first thing that helps you recognize the person is their voice, and the way they communicate. The same thing goes for brands.
A brand’s voice is the “personality” the brand takes on in all communications. Just like we can have a sense of a person’s personality from the way they speak and from their non-verbal communication, shoppers can connect easier with a brand because of the brand’s voice.
Brand voice vs tone
Yes, these two are different. The brand voice is the overall “personality” of the brand and it stays consistent over time. However, the tone is the combination of emotions and inflections of that voice. The tone can be adapted for each situation and each channel of communication. For instance, some brands tend to be more easy-going and fun on social media, while keeping a more educational, yet casual tone on their website.
Brand voice matters
The way your brand interacts with consumers is essential. 83% of consumers admit paying as much attention to how brands treat them as to the products they sell. Also, the same study showed that 73% say they are willing to pay more for a product if they love the brand. If your brand doesn’t have a voice or has one that doesn’t attract attention, you are losing customers.
1. Creates a connection
How is your brand perceived by shoppers? Is it fun, authoritative, ironic, or easy-going?
The brand voice can influence the way people perceive your brand and products. Even if you are offering good products, if shoppers don’t have a connection with your brand, there is a lower chance of them trying out your products.
The voice is the one that presents the personality of the brand and allows shoppers to relate to your brand as if it was a real person.
2. It sparks recognition
It’s much easier for shoppers to recognize your brand if they enjoy your brand’s voice. When shoppers follow your social media accounts just because of your brand’s voice, you know you did something right.
3. It influences perception
Think about Nike. What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Just do it! Their slogan and the brand voice that always tells customers that nothing is impossible is what makes shoppers love and relate to the brand. Also, it can influence the perception of shoppers and their decision. If a brand is encouraging shoppers, they might as well give it a try, right?
How to find and share your brand voice?
Now that we’ve convinced you that having a brand voice is important, let’s see how you can find and share yours.
1. Define the target audience
No, we are not talking about the ideal customer or even the majority of your shoppers, we are talking about the audience you want to target with your messages. For instance, if you are a beverage brand that sells sodas and other non-alcoholic drinks, you might want to target Gen Z shoppers.
2. Turn to the competition for inspiration
Studying the competition is a great way to see how you can differentiate your brand. If you want to see how competitors are connecting with their shoppers, you should take a look at their social media channels and campaigns. There you can also see how shoppers interact with the brand.
3. Look at other brands and people you follow and like
If you like the way a public person or a brand (not necessarily your competitor) talks on social media and in their campaigns, then you should dig deeper and try to replicate their brand voice, without copying it.
4. Define your brand voice
Now it’s time to get creative and answer the following questions:
- What words would you use to describe your brand voice?
- If your brand was a person, how might they act at a party?
- How would you describe your products, your mission, or your goals in your brand’s voice?
5. Share your brand’s voice
Last but not least, you should focus on maintaining and sharing your brand’s voice. While on social media it might be easier to write posts and get attention from shoppers, in-store you will need an innovative solution. We’ve got you covered!
Tokinomo, the robotic POP display, is able to share the voice of your brand with shoppers in-store. Take a look at how Tokinomo can help you connect with customers in brick-and-mortar stores.
FMCG brands winning the brand voice game
1. Mountain Dew
Apart from having a great brand activation recently for their new MTN Flamin’ Hot, Mountain Dew never fails to amuse and amaze shoppers on social media. This brand’s voice is funny, casual, cool, and snarky.
Mtn Dew Flamin' Hot, because we wanted to be a snack.@Doritos @ChesterCheetah— Mountain Dew® (@MountainDew) April 28, 2022
Can you already Taste the Rainbow? Well, Skittles is another brand with a funny and ironic voice that seems to speak to the younger generation. Colorful, fun, and entertaining!
If you stare at the word applause long enough it looks like applesauce.— SKITTLES (@Skittles) April 8, 2022
Another brand that found its voice is Gillette. While they might have a slightly older audience than Skittles, they still know how to share a pun now and then. Their brand voice is confident, easy-going, and cool.
Happy Valentine’s Day @GilletteVenus! pic.twitter.com/JwkiTaI9bK— Gillette (@Gillette) February 14, 2022
After these inspiring examples, it’s time to get creative with your brand’s voice. Discover what your target audience appreciates and try to integrate those elements into your brand’s personality.