Consumer Brands Allow Creative Voice Opportunities for Automation
Selecting a voice for an automated phone application is often a subjective process. In many cases, several decision makers review sound files—independently or with the GM Voices team—and choose the voice that sounds best to them (and hopefully their calling audience as well).
Other times, clients will defer to us to craft a sound that is uniquely suited for their brand. This is when we get to have fun and be creative. Because no two brands are exactly the same, it only stands to reason that no two Voice Brands should be the same either. A voice persona development project at GM Voices involves an analysis of current brand positioning, through our own research and observations, and in consultation with a company’s brand/marketing teams, to find a sound that matches the company image at all its other customer touchpoints.
It must be said: some brands are just better defined than others. This can be a company weakness that can be attributed to not focusing on projecting a compelling and clearly-defined story, sure… and then some companies occupy a space or industry that just doesn’t allow for us much creativity. For many such companies, “friendly and professional” seems to dominate the direction of the voice.
When companies have a very clear brand image, it’s enjoyable to find a sound that encapsulates that identity to resonate with customers. The more distinct the brand direction, the “bolder” the voice tends to be. Often, a consumer brand—defined by far more advertising and insight into the preferences of the buying audiences—affords greater flexibility for customization than a business-to-business brand. Many sounds that wouldn’t be appropriate for a generalized business crowd succeed on consumer-brand applications because they target a specific, niche audience.
Here are some examples:
Beauty, cosmetics, luxury – These companies provide a great opportunity to utilize a more sultry and aggressive female sound. If the brand is passively (or overtly) defined by an air of exclusivity or sophistication, a very confident and assertive sound can be desirable. This would not translate to a healthcare application, for example.
Blue collar, machinery, auto repair, production – On most applications, a neutral, unaccented voice is preferred to connect with the greatest number of callers. If your brand targets a “dude” audience, a folksier sound, maybe with a twang, can be used where it normally would never be considered.
Retail, electronics, mobile, consumer goods – If your company attracts a younger crowd, use a younger sound. Don’t give customers a branding disconnect (overly mature) if that’s not how you’re positioned at other contact points. If your company attracts a more generalized audience, use a good “middle” sound. If you cater to teens and young adults, use a youthful and vibrant sound to affirm your identity.
Check out this video of CEO Marcus Graham discussing our persona development process: