Will Your Brand Voice Sound Off-Key This Holiday Season?
In the online social world, establishing a brand voice is essential to ensure that written words correctly express the persona and unique characteristics of a brand in a style and tone that its target audience relates and responds to. This is all good if your customers spend their lives and money entirely online with no need to interact in the physical world with a retail company or B-2-B organization. But for some businesses, the marketing goal is to drive customers from the website over to a “brick & mortar” site or to have them engage in a in-person/live interaction with a company representative. If that’s the case, then what’s needed is a comprehensive brand voice which incorporates an audio component that is consistent with the online written voice.
While brand voice guidelines help to instruct front-line customer representatives on the acceptable language, style and tone of their verbal communications, there is a limit to what can be achieved with training and controlled in live real-time customer interactions.
However, there is much that can be controlled during the audio interactions that customers experience while engaging your brand. Often overlooked, a sonic brand strategy can help you control the audio voice of the brand that a customer experiences. Expressing a brand’s persona in the selection of music/lyrics, audio logo or jingle which customers could hear in-store, in advertising, on hold or even online translates into the more controllable elements of a brand’s audio voice. If the voice of the brand needs to be expressed in an empathetic tone, then selecting songs with lyrics that express this feeling is as important as writing content that elicits the same.
With the holiday season upon us, there will be an abundant collection of redundant music bombarding consumers at every turn. Careful selection of music that distinguishes your brand and is consistent with its brand voice represents an opportunity that should not be overlooked.
Nearly a century ago, Ivan Pavlov demonstrated that sound could be used as a programmable trigger for a conditioned response. If a sound can be linked through sonic branding to positive feelings about a brand, then it is worth investing your time formulating a strategy for managing the sonic brand voice. Playing the right selection of music in-store or on a call hold can link a brand to positive feelings evoked through a uniquely enjoyable auditory experience. So rather than leave the selection of a brand’s holiday season audio expression to chance, I suggest setting up music selection guidelines or your brand voice could sound way off-key.
written by: Ira Lieberman Brand Solutionist