Our voices have an uncanny way of defining us – from a life-long smoker’s gravelly vocal barbs that you can almost smell to the innocent and mostly hilarious chirps of a pubescent teen, the tone we take can set up people’s perceptions and expectations of us. Brands are no different, and your messaging needs to be in the right voice. A human voice.
There’s no room for stuffing the same message down people’s throats in a digital and social landscape – it’s a sure way to kill your engagement and lose your audience’s trust. Instead, brands need to develop a consistent way of speaking to their customers that’s engaging and helpful.
Lots of great, successful businesses are already doing it. Here’s five that I really dig and some key takeaways to consider for your own brand’s voice.
Who Gives A Crap – Toilet paper that builds toilets
Nice bum! In fact, it’s so nice, it deserves some super soft, 100% recycled toilet paper. Or so says sanitary industry disruptor Who Gives A Crap. The gutsy brand has taken on the challenge of competing against some serious legacy brands with a message of sustainability, communicated with humour.
In case you’re not convinced these guys are the real deal, they’re sealing the deal by donating profits to help to build toilets for people who need them, all while saving the planet with its 100% recycled toilet paper because you should “Stop Wiping With Trees”. And what are their competitors doing? Still pedalling the “soft” message? Meh, Who Gives A Crap has got that covered, and wraps up a whole lot of value in its product offering from the first experience on its website where they say they’ll deliver the paper to your front door because “to the bathroom would be creepy”, all the way through to the end of the toilet roll when the brand prompts you to be entertained on the loo with its website entirely dedicated to jokes to read on the toilet.
When you finally buy, they’ll tell you to “Give yourself a pat on the bum,” for doing such a good deed of, that’s right, purchasing toilet paper.
#MealTimeNailed is the message promoted by prepackaged food company and industry disruptor YouFoodz (am I seeing a trend here?). The brand entered the market with its “fresh not frozen” healthy meals, and has created a cult following with great quality meals, epic visual brand touch points and on point messaging. Any interaction with the brand will give you the same impact that the brand is focused on fresh produce and delivering great service, with a #young, enthusiastic and often cheeky vibe (see the video below).
The brand has purposely positioned itself not to be the normal transactional meal service where you buy sometimes and think nothing much more of it. With great brand touch points underpinned by messaging and brand voice, they create a relationship with each and every one of their customers.
Join the #YouFoodz Fam to see for yourself.
“I’m many a thing: mostly humble, always caffeinated, naturally derived; and 100% Australian owned and made.”
There are so many brands producing a near exact replica of this product – it’s just a coffee scrub after all, so why is it so successful?
*cough* voice *cough*.
From its website to social channels, shipping confirmation to packaging – everything is on point.
When Frank Body hit the market some 5-plus years ago, everyone wanted to get involved. It was a part of an online shopping revolution, an exclusive club that was only available online and was highly visible on social, and still is (search: #frankbody #thefrankeffect).
Quite frankly (pun intended) they’ve created a story people want to be a part of. But don’t take it from me, take it from the 690,000 Instagram followers and 123,000 Facebook fans. I’m not saying fans are everything (and I am a big fan of them) but, if acquired tastefully, they’re a fair indication that you’re doing something right.
The key takeaway from this one is to be different and craft a creative, engaging message that people want to repeat.
PwC Chair in Digital Economy
“Thought-leadership backed by evidence-based research in key areas of the digital economy.”
This QUT/PwC collab executes epic research projects to understand and predict trends in the digital economy. Generally, research findings of this calibre are quite difficult for the average punter to interpret, but this organisation has completely committed to delivering research findings in a format that is not only easy to understand, but engaging in every. single. way.
With every research project undertaken, the results are packaged up into a whitepaper, dissected into a number of blogs and podcasts, and presented to an engaged audience at its keynote events. I’ve been to a number of them so I know the level of audience engagement, and it’s second to none. The researchers manage to convey high-level thought-leadership and research in a way that makes you laugh, and really makes you think.
If you’re in a similar industry, aim to deliver your message in a voice that your customer understands, and use a number of mediums to connect with customers at different touch points.
Pretty Yummy Cookie Co
“They’re made with love. And ovens and stuff.”
If you’re an SME trying to stand out in a crowded marketplace without a great voice and a consistent, compelling brand image, you’re going to have a bad time. Luckily, the mother-daughter team behind the Pretty Yummy Cookie Co have absolutely nailed voice in a simple but totally cute way. The website perfectly portrays the values of the business, the experience of the bakers and the level of commitment to the customer.
The conversation continues in its emails and social accounts and, no doubt, upon delivery. So what can you learn from this? Be consistent with your voice across all mediums so your audience recognises you and wants to engage in a relationship.