Research from Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, the brand language specialists, has shown the financial sector to be ahead of other industries based on the value placed on written communications.
Having carried out a sector breakdown, the agency found that financial companies lead the way in perfecting a unique tone of voice in line with their brand, with the telecommunications industry in second place and retail bringing up the rear.
Financial organisations seem more willing to invest in written communications than previously,” said Guy Walsingham, managing director of Red Lorry Yellow Lorry.
“Banks and insurance companies are starting to understand that customers can be sceptical of their intentions, and are keen to be more transparent and accountable. Amid publicity about the credit crunch, existing customers need reassurance, so financial organisations are realising the need to humanise their image.”
Financial organisations also face pressure from the FSA (Financial Services Authority) to come into line with their ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ initiative.
Yet Walsingham believes that all sectors need to consider the overwhelming importance of their written communications - everything from web copy and brochures to customer service letters and HR documentation.
“A consistent tone of voice enables consumers to differentiate between one brand and another and helps companies to maximise customer acquisition and retention,” he continued. “We find that this also holds particularly true in the telecoms sector where a customer’s loyalty to one particular network is influenced by the way in which they’re communicated with.”
Interestingly, the agency found that the retail sector seriously lags behind all other sectors, including utilities and travel/leisure. Since all sectors are going to feel the impact of the credit crunch, companies in the retail sector in particular need to invest in written communications to up their game and remain ahead of the competition.
“Finding the right tone of voice for a brand makes it more real, and lets the consumer scratch beneath the surface,” concluded Walsingham. “Different tones and language contribute to delivering the whole brand experience. If not taken into consideration, this can backfire and contribute to an overall negative experience for the consumer, meaning they’ll take their business elsewhere.”
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