It is important to create a brand personality, after all people buy people. So the more we can create a unique and ownable brand personality the greater and potentially deeper the relationship we can have with our customer. Alongside the desire to create a rounded and dynamic personality for your brand, having a consistent brand identity will lead to greater brand familiarity and recall, all good things to have!
At We Are Family, when we build out brand personalities for our client we start right at the bottom, looking at the things that make them special and unique, what is the root of their strength. We then slowly build up from there, looking at the competitive market that they exist in, what the functional benefits are of their product, who their audience is and what do they expect from the brand, and what are the emotional benefits of being a brand consumer. Then once we have created the brand personality we then layer over that the best way to articulate and bring that personality to life.
Using our creative team and their endless talent we then carefully hone and sculpt the best and most authentic brand articulations, we ultimately have a blank sheet of paper and can create anything that we feel is the perfect realisation of the brand personality. The one area where we can’t do this is voice. When we want to put a voice to the brand we need to rely on someone else, sure we can write a very detailed creative brief for what exactly we are looking for but we still need to rely on someone else to realise it.
You have three choices, first you pick a high profile celebrity and then leverage that celebrity’s brand and hope the positive elements transfer but that is a) expensive (you end up in endorsement territory quickly and then the real money starts to roll) b) reliant on an actor to remain onboard for as long as you need them, and c) risky that they don’t do something terrible to affect your brand (see Oscar Pistorius example below)
Your second choice is to find a voice talent that matches your needs, be that strong and vivacious or soft and friendly. You don’t get the added endorsement as they are unlikely to be known but like trying to pick the perfect pair of jeans you will always think it could be slightly better.
Finally you can make your voice, and thanks to a raft of new startups such as LOVO and VocalID. This enables brands to refine and tweek the voice to be exactly what they want, in the same way that an artist can choose a colour for a brand that is 100% unique and ownable.
We are really interested to see how this unfolds, at the moment the technology is OK but most can still tell the difference. The main issue is the lack of errors and mistakes and fumbles and imperfections. Surely what makes us human is our fallibility and this comes across in our voice just as much as any other aspect. I am sure AI will eventually be able to replicate how rubbish humans are but I think we will sit in an “uncanny valley” for quite a long time and the voice will still require a human behind it for a little bit longer yet.