Top 3 Things to Remember When Choosing a Brand Voice

Kirstyn Macartney on February 8, 2018

The world of AI-Assistants is booming, and leading B2C brands have noticed! There are currently 25,000 skills available on Amazon Echo devices, which now makes voice a viable—and valuable—extension of your brand. Your brand voice, of course, works in conjunction with other elements—your digital presence, your product packaging, your event presence—to create the holistic brand experience. Brand voice via AI Home Assistant devices, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, is a particularly intimate brand element. It lives in your customers’ homes, after all!

Whether your brand has charted a Voice First strategy, or has yet to get started, be sure to consider the following three things when choosing your voice:

  1. Is Your Brand Amazon?
    If so, Alexa is the perfect voice to represent you! If not (and we suspect not), you need a brand-specific voice to represent you on Voice First platforms. The potential for brand confusion is huge—and not to be ignored. We already mentioned the 25,000 (and counting) available skills on Amazon Echo. This means that your skills, and that of your competitors, will sound virtually identical. Perhaps this requires a shift in mindset… You wouldn’t want your logo, your website, or any other brand element to match that of your competitors. Why is your brand voice any different?
  1. It’s All About Audience
    Who are your customers? Ideally, you already know the answer. But it is crucial to consider the audience when choosing a memorable brand voice. Demographics like gender and location should make a difference. If you have a highly female customer base, consider using a male brand voice—this has been proven to generate a more positive response from female audiences. Also, consumers respond more positively to accents and inflections that sound familiar. It’s no accident that when Amazon released Echo into the Canadian market, Alexa was equipped with an English-language voice with Canadian accent, local knowledge (informed by Canadians), and skills built for the Canadian market.
  1. Be Human!
    We interact with AI Assistants in perhaps the most natural way possible—by talking. So why are organizations opting for a cold, robotic brand voice? Consider the types of messages you will deliver to customers via AI Assistants—and how you would deliver these messages in real life. As a furniture retailer, it could be interior design tips. As an insurance provider, it could be claim status updates. These are very different messages, that require very different tones and levels of emotional relevance in their delivery. Human voice conveys a level of emotion and authenticity that automated voice cannot, and when paired with highly personalized messaging, this truly optimizes the customer’s experience with your brand.

I suggest you enter the Voice First space without a plan to finish with your brand voice. Like all elements of your brand strategy, voice should not be fixed. Your brand voice should continuously evolve along with your audience. Always be seeking new and more effective ways to convey your message and use the data available to you, available data to determine if and how customers are interacting with your Voice First offerings. And don’t be afraid of your competitors! Analyze their Alexa Skills and Google Actions—be it what-not-to-dos or best practices, the takeaways will be invaluable.

Want to learn more about creating a Voice First strategy for your brand? Contact SPLICE at 1-855-777-5423.