Does your brand have a voice

You are a voice expert.

Since before you were born, you have been refining your ability to understand primitive vocal cues. This is not to say you are a master of speech, but instead you (like all people) develop an extreme sensitivity to the human voice. Consider the following example:

You take your seat on an airplane and hear two people in the row behind you conversing in a foreign language. You cannot see the two people or understand the content of their dialogue because you don’t know their language. Despite these facts, there is wealth of relevant social information available to you. Based on their voices you can determine physical characteristics – gender, approximate age and size. Quickly you can associate identities with the speakers, approximate their mood and even pick up on more subtle cues such as dominance and perceived attractiveness.

It turns out the subtleties of the human voice are as informative, if not more so, than the words themselves. Choosing the right voice for your messaging creates more memorable and engaging content. So how can your brand utilize this knowledge? Find a voice that resonates with your brand and use it over and over again.

A good example of this is comes from insurance companies whose advertising goals are brand longevity and recognition. Progressive has Flo – the approachable and helpful voice; GEICO has the Gecko – who doesn’t trust a British/Australian voice? Allstate has Dennis Haysbert – the deep, reassuring voice. In fact Allstate’s most recent TV ads revolve entirely around Haysbert’s silky baritone.

These faceless insurance companies have become masters of branding. They have realized that a consistent voice builds long-lasting and powerful brand recognition. Perhaps more importantly, they have realized that a voice can humanize a company (even an insurance company). So as you consider your next advertising campaign, ask yourself, “does your brand have a voice?”

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