You’re working out who your brand is; what it sounds like, what it looks like. So you pick a safe name. A safe look. A perfectly-fine, non-offensive and thoroughly beige voice.
You fit in perfectly well with your industry. And that’s exactly the problem.
While people expect bold and in-your-face from more creative industries, those in traditionally less ~sexy~ categories like B2B, super, insurance and accounting can feel restricted by their suits. Even the really exxy ones. Limited by the expectation to be straight, serious, and seriously wordy.
But who said finance – or insurance for that matter – has to bore your audience to sleep?
In fact, if you’re in said ‘unsexy’ industry, it’s the perfect opportunity for a brand voice with bite.
One that cuts through, not necessarily cutting. That doesn’t have to mean being swear-y, or overly loud, or talking completely in emojis and acronyms. But it does mean being brave enough to challenge some of the conventions in communications the rest of your category – and competition – is doing. We double dare you.
Reason #1: You’ll stand out.
Challenge: Name three lifestyle brands that have a really distinct voice. (We’ll start you with one: Frank Body.)
Next challenge: Try the same with superannuation. Or accounting.
What was that?
Your brand voice guides every interaction with your customers. Having a brand personality that stands out and is memorable – for the right reasons – will help keep you front of mind when they need you.
Reason #2: It’s doable. Just ask these guys.
Take Elephant Advisory.
They’re financial advisors. Serious stuff, right? So they could have gone for a Very Serious Financial Advisor name to match.
Instead, they came to us and together we came up with a name that stayed true to what they do, but with a difference; Elephant. Because their team of finance brokers remember everyone with the veracity of… well, you know. They make home finance simple with service that’s focussed on the customer, not profit margins. Imagine…
That brave (no, it’s not saving lives, but yes, it is daring in their industry) decision set the tone for what followed. Literally.
We developed a tone of voice that was friendly, easy-to-understand, and completely distinct from the jargon-filled space of their competitors. They rolled this out across their visual identity and website.
The result? A finance brand that feels and looks approachable, less intimidating and refreshing.
That their customers (and anyone who comes across them) won’t forget either.
Reason #3. It might actually be GOOD for your bottom line.
Mobile-only bank, Monzo, launched in the UK in 2015.
The digital bank instantly became popular among millennials because of its disruption for a few reasons. Cool, but not groundbreaking.
Its tone of voice, however? A welcome splash of tonic. In a sea of (often deliberately) confusing bank speak, Monzo cut through by keeping it simple and straightforward.
Their voice is less a teacher and more a friend; one of us. (Although with arguably more in their bank account.)
This stand-out trait – simply being easy to understand – is enforced in their tone of voice guidelines; things like using ‘help’ instead of ‘assistance’ and ‘let’ instead of ‘enable’. No over draft-ing.
Still compliance-friendly, but a deliberate decision that makes an enormous difference.
In 2019, Monzo passed two million total users, signing up 200,000 new accounts each month.
‘Alright, I’m ready to dance.’
*cue music*. Every single interaction helps build the perception of your brand in the mind of your customer. It doesn’t really matter who you think you are. It’s about who your customer thinks you are based on how you come off; your brand voice.
A distinct tone of voice that’s unexpected for your industry but still reflects who you are will help you get closer to that first mil. (Maybe even the second, too.)
It can be loud. Or it could be as simple as injecting a little bit of humour and simpler language into your communications. Less wanky, more direct, but a whole lot more interesting.
Ready to try? So are we.
Image Credits: (left) Elephant Advisory, (right) Monzo