It's the little things

If your brand was a person, who would it be? How would they dress, what would they do, where would they hang out? When you know what or rather, who, your brand is, then you can communicate it to your customers. The most successful brands are built around a strong personality. And a strong personality should have a distinctive and consistent voice.
Tone of voice is as much an expression of your brand as your logo or website. And it’s important that it reflects your look, feel and personality. A young, progressive brand using old fashioned or overly formal language just wouldn’t add up. It’s only by staying true to your personality and values that your brand can build a real emotional connection with customers. As they get to know your voice, you’ll become more familiar and they'll grow to trust you.
Bear in mind though, that once your brand has built a personality that customers know and (hopefully) love, then they’ll expect you to talk and act in a certain way – and it will jar with them when you behave differently. It’s easy to lose customer trust with one badly worded tweet or a phone greeting that seems totally out of character. The key to getting your tone of voice to stick is consistency. A customer should be able to see or hear any one of your communications and know instantly that it’s your brand speaking.
Your personality may shine through on your website, in emails and letters. But a consistent tone of voice means looking at every customer communication and making sure that your personality shows in the less obvious places. A content audit can help you find out where your tone of voice is in action and where it may be missing (we’re good at them, just give us a shout for more info).
For starters here’s a few of the often seen, but more unlikely, places you can add personality.

404 and cookie messages
404 error messages usually pop up when a browser can’t find a web page. They’re designed to get the user back on track, but they’re a great place to inject a bit of personality. The right message can help build trust and keep the customer engaged, even entertained. Take Hootsuite's witty 404 message featuring a picture of their 'missing' owl mascot and the words 'Fowl Not Found'. Their quirky personality comes across loud and clear. Similarly, most websites now have cookie consent messages – another place to add a personal touch.

Terms and conditions
Tackling your terms and conditions can be daunting but it’s worth the effort. While it’s probably best not to mess with legal terms, you can use more clear and conversational language to explain jargon and legal speak. That way, you can add personality while making the terms easier to understand. And even the legal team can’t argue with that.

We all hate to be kept waiting, especially on the phone. But queues can be the perfect place to engage with your customers. Steer away from tired old music tracks and stock phrases like ‘sorry to keep you waiting, your call is important to us’ – which are likely to annoy customers further. Instead, choose music that reflects your personality; a voice that sounds like 'you'; and messages that say something about your brand. There are lots of ways you can do something new and innovative, so let your personality shine.
by Laura. June 2014.