What is a brand’s ToV, why is it needed and what should it be?

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The abbreviation ToV in marketing denotes the unique “voice” of the brand – Tone of Voice. In this material, we will understand what it is, why the tone of communication is important for business, what functions the ToV brand performs and how to create it.

What is a brand’s ToV?

Tone of Voice is the unique style of communication of a brand with its audience, which determines what kind of relationship a business will have with potential customers, whether consumers will want to associate themselves with this brand.

ToV is responsible for the impression that the client will receive from interaction with the brand through various communication channels: in email correspondence, in social networks, on the company’s website, during calls, in personal contact, in advertising, etc.

Brands, like people, are able to communicate with consumers in different ways: some conduct a friendly dialogue and address the client as “you”, others adhere to a formal style and appeal to “you”. In each of these cases, the brand will evoke completely different associations.

Aviation sales VKontakte communication

The right tone of the brand creates a connection with consumers and motivates them to interact with the company more often, promotes better recall, inspires trust and helps increase profits.

It is important that the same tone of voice is always maintained when communicating with the consumer. The ToV should be easily recognizable regardless of the channel where the business broadcasts the message. In order for the customer’s impression of the brand to be complete, it is necessary to adhere to a single manner of communication. For example, if the company publishes humorous posts on social networks and addresses the client as “you”, then a dry formal greeting, say, when communicating with the support service in the chat, will cause the user discomfort.

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Why is Tone of Voice needed?

Let’s analyze the functions of Tone of Voice in more detail:

  • ToV allows communicate with the audience. In order for a consumer to purchase a product or use a service, he needs to feel trust in the company, consider it “his”. The voice of the brand helps to select expressions and communication style, understandable and close audiences. With its help, the company can be on the same page with consumers: joke so that the audience perceives humor, and use slang that potential buyers have.
  • Tone of Voice distances the brand from competitors, Emphasizes its features, evokes an emotional response from the client. This helps the consumer to build associations with the company and its product. We usually choose our friends among people with similar views on life, hobbies and values. In the same way, the consumer prefers those brands whose Tone of Voice is consistent with his thoughts.
  • Another purpose of the brand voice is helping employees communicate with customers. ToV sets the style of communication and helps not to get confused when interacting with consumers. The tone of communication is usually described in the company’s brand book: the requirements for language style, form and presentation of corporate information are listed. For example, the chain of pizzerias “Dodo Pizza” formulates its Tone of Voice as follows:

Description of Tone of Voice of the chain of pizzerias

  • If a company has its own unique voice, it is increases brand recognition. Potential customers who have not yet contacted the company, but have heard about it, will feel a certain trust in the brand in advance and will show more loyalty when making a purchase decision.
  • Tone of Voice broadcasts business valuesDemonstrates what this company lives by, reflects its mission, creates an image.
  • In addition, the voice of the brand as one of corporate style elementscontributes to the successful promotion of the brand in the market, sales growth and increased profits.

What is the voice of the brand

For each specific business, the tone of the brand’s voice is selected individually and depends on the niche and specifics of the company’s activities. The American consulting firm Nielsen Norman Group offers the following classification of types of tonality for communication with consumers:

Tonality types based on Nielsen Norman Group classification
A serious Tone of Voice will help the company maintain a business image and create a sense of credibility in the consumer. A respectful tone can encourage the consumer to contact you more quickly.

Humor improves the memorization of information, and a humorous tone brings people together, but a cheerful tone is not suitable for all companies, for example, in the field of medicine, jokes may be inappropriate.

The official style emphasizes rationality rather than emotions when communicating with clients. Communication in a conversational style helps you get on the same page with customers, and a bold, provocative ToV is a good way to set yourself apart from competitors whose brand voice is serious and calm.

You can more precisely delineate the boundaries of how you should talk to your audience using not one definition of tonality, but pairs of antonymous adjectives, for example, “emotional, but not enthusiastic” or “careful, but not intrusive.”

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How the brand voice is formed

In order not to make a mistake in choosing the appropriate voice for the brand, first of all you need to study the target audience and make a detailed portrait of the consumer who is interested in the brand. The resulting image should include such characteristics as the gender and age of people, their occupation, income level, as well as information about education, geography of residence, interests and hobbies, what style of communication they prefer, what social networks they use .

Then imagine what this person has in common with your brand: why he chooses it, what advantages he appreciates, what exactly the brand can be useful to him.

When forming the Tone of Voice, it is important to remember that the brand’s voice should not contradict the company’s mission. It is necessary that the ToV reflects the essence of the brand and forms a certain image of the company among customers. Answer the questions: Who does your company work for? What does he do? How does it benefit customers? How is it different from competitors? After that, think about how you can share your values ​​with those for whom they are just as important.

To simplify the choice of tone of voice of the brand, you can imagine the brand in the form of a living person. Compile such a description will help: How does he look like? What clothes does he wear? What properties does it have? What is his manner of communication with different people? What impression is he trying to make on others? Having drawn a portrait of a brand person in this way, it will be easier to imagine how he should talk, to whom he is interesting and close, how such a character differs from other similar people (brand competitors) and why people will want to communicate with this particular person (brand charisma).

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The tonality, voice of the brand sets a uniform style, certain rules of communication with the target audience, helps to stand out among competitors, allows you to find your consumers and speak with them in the same language.

A properly selected, sincere brand voice conveys the right emotions, helps attract new customers and retain existing ones. When creating the Tone of Voice, remember that it should organically fit into the brand concept, correspond to the company’s values, and the sound of the brand should be close and understandable to potential buyers.

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