The right tone should help you connect with the customer on an emotional level, build a relationship of trust and make them desirous of your product or service.
The key to the right luxury brand tone is to marry your brand personality with your communication strategies.
Whereas brand voice relates to the language we use and the narrative we put out there when communicating a brand, brand tone fundamentally relates to the way or tone with which we communicate that brand. Think of it in terms of the way you speak in any given setting: You adjust your tone according to who you are talking to and what you are talking about, but your voice remains the same. So whereas brand voice refers to the type of language and vocabulary you use when expressing your brand, brand tone refers to the tone of voice you should use to best promote your brand. Tone is important, as we all know all too well. In all likelihood, most of us heard the words “Don’t use that tone of voice with me!” a couple of times while growing up.
Like your brand voice, brand tone plays an intrinsic part in how you convey your brand to your target audience. Therefore, your brand tone should be appropriate to and in touch with that audience. In Luxury, now more than ever, clients want to make an emotional connection with the brands they follow or give their business to. They want content to speak to them — not at them, and most certainly not past them. In the luxury market, it is paramount that you know your target audience and know how to make that connection through the way in which you convey that content. And using the right brand tone is absolutely indispensable in this regard. Why? Because if your tone of voice does not encapsulate all that your brand and your customers value; if it does not reflect the manner of speaking your audience is most familiar and comfortable with, you will surely not only feel the sting of customers rejecting your blog posts, advertisements and social media pages, but also your products.
On the other hand, getting your brand tone just right would not only differentiate your brand from the competition, but give you have a far higher chance of achieving the holy grail of client service – brand advocacy. There is simply no marketing strategy that beats clients speaking highly of you to their friends.
But what kind of brand tone is appropriate for luxury? The key to the right luxury brand tone is to marry your brand personality with your communication strategies. Employ a proactive tone intrinsically related to your brand identity. Your tone should reflect your brand in every way. Speaking to clients in a polite, courteous and formal manner is helpful, but certainly not enough. Tone should reflect you are – it needs to be an expression of the people behind the brand, and needs to help you, as a person, engage with the client.
Brand tone should reflect your company’s values and be appropriate to the channels you use to communicate with your audience. This entails that your tone should be adaptable to the type of media you use. Telephone conversations require a combination of conciseness and politeness, e-mails require writing with clarity above all else. The use of humour is always complex when it comes to communicating luxury brands, but when done selectively and appropriately, it can be worth more than gold in terms of establishing a good rapport. Succinct pronunciation and employing rhetorical devices like assonance or consonance can create an almost lyrical message destined to grab the attention of your target audience. Furthermore, avoid coming across as over-enthusiastic, but never be dull. You need to cultivate a warm and inviting presence at all times in order to make clients feel at home.
The right tone for the right setting should help you connect with the customer on an emotional level, build a relationship of trust and make them desirous of your product or service. Ultimately, clients need to not merely associate with your brand; they need to feel like they are just as much a part of your brand as you are.
Paul Russell is co-founder of Luxury Academy London, a multi-national training company with offices in London, Mumbai and Visakhapatnam. Luxury Academy London specialise exclusively in the luxury industry and deliver training in leadership, communication and business etiquette training for companies and private clients across the globe.
Prior to founding Luxury Academy London, Paul worked in senior leadership roles within luxury hospitality. A dynamic trainer and seminar leader, Paul has designed and taught courses, workshops and seminars worldwide on a wide variety of soft skills.