It is easy to identify the great changes that the brand-customer relationship has undergone in recent years. Increasingly, transactions are part of a broader, open, and equitable exchange where the purchase is itself an expression of that relationship and not the sole objective. I said in my last post that companies should think of brands as relationship builders rather than transaction builders.

And to achieve this, you have to look for the reasons why customers end up accepting that they are going to spend part of their time connecting emotionally with the brand: the long-awaited
engagement
.

The basis of any relationship is materialized from the different exchanges that occur between two people. And in them, the way they talk to each other, their tone, is fundamental to framing their own personality and defining the type of relationship they are looking for.

How brands express themselves

The way a brand expresses itself (Voice and Tone) is directly linked to its personality, its values and its attitude towards the environment. The Voice is the description of the brand’s unique and distinctive personality. And if you want to connect with your audience, you’ll need to make sure that the voice reflects the essence of the brand through your verbal personality traits. Tone refers to how the voice is used in different situations and with different audiences. In anyone’s life, we adjust the tone according to who we’re talking to or according to the topic we’re discussing. Tone allows you to apply empathy and that’s what makes the difference between exposing and connecting. It allows you to enhance the value of the message and, with it, the value of the brand.

Tone of voice is more than just the words you choose. It’s how they’re used to reinforce a particular personality. It reflects the way in which the audience is told how they should feel about the messages that the brand emits and, without a doubt, also influences how that audience perceives that message.

The 5 Dimensions of Tone of Voice

Starting from the premise that the brand has a single voice but its tones can be multiple, these 5 dimensions must be adjusted according to the brand’s own personality, the audience it is addressing at any given time and the context in which this relationship occurs.

1- Traits

Brands can be masculine, feminine, or neutral. People like to identify a gender in them and those who have it well defined gain in perception of value. The age they represent is also an important variable. An adult does not express himself in the same way as a young person, a man or a woman. We were able to verify this in the 1st report on the sex and age of brands in Spain.

2- Features

Language is the main defining characteristic of humans. Equally, how the brand uses it will help us understand what its qualities are. Smart, aspirational, reliable… These are some of the characteristics that we can consider to build a specific tone of voice, which represents the personality of a brand.

3- Emotions

Emotions are subjective experiences that can elicit strong feelings. The role they play influences the way we relate to each other, set priorities, learn, and our perception of personality. Whether a brand uses a funny, enthusiastic, or passionate tone of voice will directly affect the type of relationships they want to build.

4- Behaviors

Describing behavioural traits in different situations facilitates communication flows in the language that the brand employs. Being respectful, determined, extroverted, etc. is one of the dimensions that most affect the construction of the tone of voice.

5- Relationships

In a more than saturated market, the form that relationships take is crucial to building trust. We must gauge whether the brand is approachable, inspiring, academic, etc. to reinforce the bonds of security towards our audience.

Once the brand personality has been defined and transferred to a voice and tone that help its expression, the next challenge is consistency. It is certain that personality will evolve over time, just as human personality evolves. But the more consistent it is, the easier it will be for the audience to connect with the brand and establish a stable and lasting relationship with it.

 

Carlos Puig Falcó

President of Branward®

Photos: Shutterstock


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