The way a company speaks is as critical as the products and services it offers. As a marketer, determining which message you should give to your products when you present them is essential to good business. This message is determined by various factors such as competitive firms, the features of your product, market movement and the list goes on. The most substantial task you have to tackle is defining your product’s tone and voice in complex circumstances.
One mistake marketers often make is that they tend to focus too much on the technical aspects of product attributes. When you think instead about the message being conveyed, the first priority is to consider what you want your potential customers to think about, associate with and expect from your product. The diction of the text, pictures and data are all integral parts of a consistent conceptual strategy. They provide information to solve customers’ issues and arouse consumer expectations for the product. Here are some examples of companies that succeeded in these delicate and dynamic decisions.
Examples of Businesses with a Strong Sense of Tone and Voice
We think that Disney, Dunkin Donuts, Gillette, and Coca-Cola are four examples of brands with great tone and voice. Here’s why:
It is no surprise that Disney has one of the strongest brand identities. People expect something more spectacular than mundane advertisements from the Disney Company. You can see this brand concept conveyed in the phrase, “Where dreams come true.” All elements of the design, service and quality provided by the company are united under this concept, and at the same time, the impression of “dream” is communicated as the tone and voice of Disney. When you visit any Disney theme park, you immediately find that the physical structures reinforce the brand structure, and it does, in fact, seem to be a whole new world.
What is notable in Disney’s strategy is the complete consistency. A brand is the set of expectations surrounding a product, service or experience in the customers’ mind. Generally, it takes a long time to construct a firm brand identity of a company, and if the attitude of the company changes from time to time or place to place, the image cannot be firm enough for the customers to develop loyalty. Disney seems to understand this, which is the most powerful resource it has.
The approach Dunkin’ Donuts takes in its branding message is one of the most successful marketing strategies in recent years. The increasing performance of Dunkin’ is gained from the effective redefinition of their attributes. The brand image for Dunkin’ was previously just a donut shop where one could grab a quick breakfast. However, in the face of fierce competition in the market, Dunkin’ had to rethink its brand and its strategy. In an effort to rebrand itself, Dunkin’ started to insist they were not a place just to drop by for a minute to grab doughnuts. Dunkin’ focused instead on the quality of coffee they serve and transformed the atmosphere of their stores into a more relaxing place to hang out.
Accordingly, the marketing plan became broader. For the consumers who just wanted a cup of coffee to kickstart their day, Dunkin’ ran the promotion called “America runs on Dunkin,” in which the attitude of the company is portrayed as energetic and quick. On the other hand, for those who are looking for a longer stay, some of their restaurants provide relaxing music and comfortable leather chairs. This case shows Dunkin’ Donuts didn’t stick to its original direction but is taking a strategic approach in adapting to the changing needs of each target consumer.
Another example is Gillette, who used a product-oriented approach. Gillette virtually owns the razor market, having grabbed a 70% share. Al Zeien, the present CEO of Gillette, once commented that Gillette would launch only products that show genuine advancement. The Gillette brand products are characterized as being of highest quality, genuine and superior. The tone and voice of the brand’s messaging reflects this confidence in their products.
Video has been a significant component of Gillette’s marketing success. There are a number of Gillette commercials on YouTube for consumers to watch and engage with. One that particularly stands out compares a lone teenage boy at a dance wearing his untailored “first suit” to a young businessperson who just got his Italian “first real suit.” The boy stands anxiously among the other guests, while the more experienced businessperson seems full of confidence and energy for the new day. This ad ends with “YOUR FIRST REAL RAZOR.” The consistent message of confidence and genuineness comes across in this video and all of the company’s other marketing material. If the explanation of the quality of the product itself can excite the customers, the message can also be very strong.
Coca-Cola is one of the all-time favorite examples of well-tailored brand messaging. Coca-Cola’s tone and voice relies on the concepts of friendship, happiness and joy. In the “Share a Coke” campaign, Coca-Cola labeled 250 major names on bottles of their product and made them available to consumers for purchase. The campaign’s objective was to make customers feel like picking up a Coke when they found a bottle with the name of a friend or family member on it. Coke’s promotion boosts the expectation for the experience rather than explaining the quality. Even in commercials, you don’t hear words to explain the taste of Coke. They focus more on facial expressions and the story of the commercial.
That came from Coca-Cola’s stage of product lifecycle. Coke is already a mature product, and the beverage market is also saturated. Under this business environment, it is hard to create further remarkable difference between Coke and other drinks. Coke’s strategy is successful in creating fresh interest in an established product.
These companies have all attained great success through their branding strategies. Though the consistent and appropriate definition of voice and tone is generally essential for every company, the business and marketing environment is totally different for each. For successful marketing, it is key to understand the market situation surrounding your company and properly form the tone and voice of your brand.
By focusing your company’s tone and voice, you can have a stronger brand identity. Reach out to EnVeritas Group to learn more.
Yasunori Noguchi—Content Creator