How To Create Your Brand’s Tone In An Era Of Unstable Market & Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our reality in many ways, and one of the consequences of this healthcare disaster is the economic crisis. In this era of the coronavirus crisis, many businesses realize that they need to change their branding and to adapt their brand tone to the current reality. Although this is the first crisis for many businesses, it’s important to keep in mind that similar things have happened to the economy before.
For instance, the financial crisis of the 2000s has already taught companies many lessons that they need to remember now. For instance, many companies realized that they should be able to quickly adapt to the changing circumstances. Although no one knows how and when this crisis will end, we can still learn from history. In this article, we will consider some practices that might help you minimize the impact of the crisis on your brand. You will also learn some tips on how to choose the right marketing tone so that you can build trust and stay on track.
Surviving the Crisis
If you focus on surviving the crisis and prepare for the tough times ahead, it won’t be hard for your business to recover when the situation in the market changes. According to statistics, companies that manage to develop the right sort of discipline during the lean years, demonstrate a fast growth afterward. The main thing is to prepare for the impact in advance.
First, you need to cut excess costs. These are operating costs for an operational year that exceed your planned expenses. After this, you should plan a new business model. Determine a few important projects that you will focus on, and start hiring and spending before the market rebounds.
Cutting costs and reducing the number of employees may seem like a logical survival strategy, but even if you manage to survive a crisis, it will be difficult for you to demonstrate growth afterward. Instead, you can give customers more value for their money. You can add new features or emotional value and actively promote your brands.
If you choose this approach, you’ll be able to build trust with your customers. “When they see that your brand continues to deliver value during the crisis, they will stay with you afterward,” explains Sandy Bryant, a marketer at a writing services review website Best Writers Online. Even though doing business during the crisis is difficult, it’s nevertheless rewarding because it helps you increase the reliability of your brand and boost loyalty. You can demonstrate that you care about your customers in any situation and that your brand remains reliable regardless of any challenges.
Why Branding Is So Important Now
During the crisis, especially when dealing with the global pandemic and isolation, the value of authentic interaction and engagement grows significantly. It’s time to prove that you care about your potential and existing customers. You need to be approachable, relatable, and human. Now is the best time to invest in branding and to make sure that your brand voice and tone are relevant.
We recommend that you reconsider your branding strategy during the crisis and change your copy accordingly. A few minor edits in your copy may not work. For instance, companies that used to focus on in-store purchases were forced to go online during the quarantine. However, you may not need to spend a lot of money to get it right. For example, you can film a short but inspiring video from the CEO of your company to make your brand more approachable and human, establishing authentic communication.
Data-driven messages and complex marketing strategies become not as important as the way you communicate with customers, because isolation has made consumers appreciate communication more than ever. What you tell your potential customers still matters, but how you tell it is much more important. It’s not the best time to push your products or services because many consumers may not be able to make purchases as actively as they used to. It’s the time when people need help, and you should offer this help genuinely. For instance, you can partner with charity organizations or share useful information and educate your audience about the problem. “Any additional value can be helpful, and the easiest way to add value to your message is to make it more emotional and authentic,” notes Elsa Walsh, a digital marketer at a writing services review website Online Writers Rating. That’s why you need to develop the right brand tone. It’s also important to stay true to your core brand values and to prove that nothing can make you forget about them.
We recommend that you keep in mind that your products or services may not be among the top priorities of your audience now. At the same time, the COVID-19 crisis has made some products essential so brands from these niches can use this period of uncertainty to their advantage. Nevertheless, your audience and community should be the top priorities of your brand. It’s impossible to come up with a perfect branding solution that would work for everyone during a crisis like this. However, you don’t even need a perfect universal method. You can experiment, research your audience, look for common values, and think of what can make you feel proud of your brand, yourself, and your team. To understand how to find the right tone for your brand, let’s figure out what it is, and what factors you should take into account.
How to Develop the Right Brand Tone
- Understand your audience - According to research, as much as 56% of consumers note that their communication with most brands is irrelevant. You need to research your audience and to segment it properly, taking into account your potential customers’ age, gender, and location. Think of how your customers talk to each other and try to use the same style of conversation. The better you know your audience, the easier it will be for you to choose the right tone of voice when communicating your marketing messages.
Think of who your buyers are, where they work, what they are interested in. How old they are? Your brand tone should change depending on the target generation. For instance, you should choose completely different approaches when targeting baby boomers and millennials. Baby boomers value a sense of reliability, while millennials appreciate informative yet entertaining content.
- Identify what values you’re going to communicate - To understand how you will communicate your message, you should determine the key purpose of communication. You should stick with your brand values and choose the language that corresponds to them. According to statistics, 94% of consumers say that transparency is the main factor that makes them loyal to a brand. Besides, the COVID-19 crisis is also a great time to be clear about what your brand stands for, what makes it unique, and what you want to share with your audience.
You must have a mission statement for your brand. However, you may also want to come up with another mission statement that is relevant to the pandemic. Explain who you are, what is your brand’s goal, and how you’re going to help your customers or the whole community. To create an effective mission statement, you can create an outline, which is also called message architecture. A message architecture should include a brief summary of your communication goals. For example, your message architecture can look like a list of statements or terms. A message architecture will help you keep in mind your key messaging priorities.
- Audit your content - Before changing your tone of voice, you can audit the existing content to get a better understanding of what your brand sounds like now. We recommend that you select your top-performing pieces of content and figure out whether or not they fit your brand values, reflect the brand values described in the mission statement, and correspond to the structure of your message. Determine whether your current tone is funny or serious, casual or formal, matter-of-fact, or enthusiastic.
A great practice is to compare the tone of your content to the tone of your customers. We recommend that you encourage your customers to leave their feedback and to complete various surveys so that you can see how they talk and what they consider important. This way, you’ll be able to adapt to their tone of voice precisely. For instance, if you see that most of your customers emphasize certain features of your products and describe your brand using certain adjectives, you can use the same words in your copy and focus on the same features.
- Define your brand tone - Once you've gathered the necessary information about your audience and analyzed your content, you can determine the right tone during the brand crisis. Your brand tone should reflect both what you sound like now, and what you want to sound like. Give your audience hope and make sure to demonstrate that you’re with them. Even if you cannot make any specific offers or discounts, think of how you can add emotional value to the conversation.
We recommend that you think about choosing a little more casual tone if it used to be too formal. The casual tone is also very important when it comes to customer support. As much as 65% of consumers note that they prefer the casual tone of the support staff. 78% of consumers, however, would be completely dissatisfied if you denied their request using a casual tone. Therefore, it’s important to take into account the context of a particular interaction.
A humorous tone can help you stand out from the competitors. However, you should make sure that your audience will appreciate your humor and avoid any controversial subjects. A more serious, formal tone will help you emphasize the trustworthiness of your brand. At the same time, you should make sure that your brand won’t lose its personality. Besides, a younger audience will likely choose brands that stick with an informal tone.
A respectful tone can help you communicate friendliness. An overly respectful tone, however, can create an impression that you’re trying to flatter your audience. You may also choose an irreverent tone if your brand image is authoritative and confident. In this case, you must make sure that it won’t look passively aggressive.
If you want to engage your readers and to communicate a sense of helpfulness, you can choose an enthusiastic tone. In this case, you must make sure that your copy won’t be annoying or too emotional. A matter-of-fact tone is a perfect solution for brands that want to emphasize simplicity and honesty. However, when choosing the matter-of-fact tone, you should make sure that your content won’t lack personality.
This isn’t the first economic crisis, and it may not be the last one. Therefore, it’s important for brands to prepare for any changes and to be able to adapt to them. You will be able to keep your customers if you establish effective and relevant communication, choosing the right brand tone. You can research your audience, manage brand messages, and change your brand tone to make your brand more approachable, establishing an authentic conversation. We hope that our tips will help you develop the right brand tone and survive this era of uncertainty.