Watch Your Tone! Why Your Brand Voice Matters

I recently had an encounter with WestJet on Twitter. It was quick, quirky, and it made me think about brand voice and why it matters.

It all started on my way home from vacation. I was northbound from Los Angeles.

Flight attendants were just beginning their routine shuffle down the aisles to serve passengers complimentary sodas and snacks.

“I’ll have tomato juice”, requested the passenger beside me.

The stench of liquefied tomatoes wafted in my direction, and it made my nose scrunch. Immediately, I asked myself, “Who drinks straight up tomato juice?!”

Naturally, as a social media-addicted millennial, I turned to Twitter to rhetorically question the consumption of tomato juice.

To my surprise, WestJet responded. Fast.

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The company’s response was friendly and funny. They suggested I try asking Siri instead of Twitter, topped it off with a playful smile, and followed me.

Personally, I like a little friendly ridicule, and when it comes from a company, I feel like it humanizes the conversation.

This interaction made me begin thinking about brand voice, and why it matters.

According to Jayson DeMers from Forbes.com, “Voice is what you say and how you say it,” and in order to have an effective brand voice, you also have to know with whom you’re speaking.

I reached out to WestJet to ask about their brand voice.

The Canadian airline company describes itself as fun, friendly and caring.

“These are essentially the three cornerstones of the WestJet culture and in order for our social media voice to be genuine, it must reflect our values and corporate culture,” said Robert Palmer from Media Relations at WestJet.
WestJet’s social media voice reflects their positioning, and they strive to build brand consistency on all customer touch points.

“Our voice must be the same no matter who is speaking, whether it’s our frontline WestJetters interacting with our guests face-to-face, our contact centre agents handling reservations and changes over the telephone, or our guest support agents working with our guests who reach out to us on social media,” he added.

Why is it important to have a consistent brand voice?

“Because it’s genuine,” said Palmer. “It reflects who we are as a company and as WestJetters. Our caring, people-driven service is reflected in everything we do, and that includes the way we treat and communicate with our guests.”

If you are wondering about the effectiveness of your brand voice, make a list of your customer touch points (customer service reps, advertising, social media, catalogue content, call centre, etc.). Review the language in each. For example, is the tone and style of language used in your call centre phone scripts consistent with your tweets, traditional ads, and press releases? If your company’s value proposition is to be fun, friendly, and caring, like WestJet’s, take the time to ensure these qualities permeate all communications. The goal is to ensure the voice is consistent across all levels or your company, both on and offline.

Do you have questions about your brand’s voice? Contact us to discuss how we can help you.