Color Bars

Brands: Be Yourself to Break Through the Clutter

Have you noticed a more natural, relaxed tone from brands lately? Brands and companies seem to be unbuttoning their communication with consumers, and I like it.

I’m a storyteller by trade, which means it’s my job to help clients communicate with their audiences clearly and effectively. But this also means I tend to notice and scrutinize messages (even when I just want to be a normal consumer!).

How you communicate is just as important as what you are communicating, and the emotion behind a message can work wonders. In our industry, we refer to the emotion behind what we’re communicating as a brand’s “voice” and I’m loving the shift from generic messages that seem pre-conceived to a natural, more personalized tone.

Breaking through the clutter of messages that we’re all attacked with every day is a constant challenge for brands.  But with a little personality and authenticity you can have a big impact. Consider the following interactions I had recently with Warby Parker, an online retailer of eyeglasses:

  • The company has a free home try-on program and after selecting the frames I was interested in, I was greeted with a confirmation that said: “Get excited! Just like fingerprints, no two home try-ons are alike. Congratulations on picking out a unique specimen.”
  • Instead of saying “Your order has shipped,” I received an email with the subject line “Let the obsessive package tracking begin.”
  • Upon delivery of my new glasses, I was greeted with “Get ready – starting today you’ll be getting a steady stream of compliments on your new glasses.”

I felt like the company got my personality and (so-called) style, which is why I initially started the interaction. Ultimately, it’s also why I ordered their product. It was refreshing and I felt like the company was speaking to me instead of speaking at me.

Bottom line – effective communication is not a one size fits all strategy. Keep your voice authentic. Know your audience and make sure to speak to them, not at them. Communication that resonates with your audience will help break down walls and build trust.

It’s from this place of trust that magic can happen – making a purchase, signing a petition or providing exclusive support. Have you had a unique interaction with a brand recently? Share the interaction that caught your attention with us.

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