• Transform magazine
  • July 18, 2018

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How language can change brand experience

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Last week, new language and behaviour consultancy Schwa held a breakfast in Central London, offering a platform for discussing brand experience.

The event featured talks from pioneers in the financial services world, such as Dr. Keith O’Brien, global behavioural insight lead at insurer Simply Business, Harry Ashridge, writer at Monzo and Colby Brin, writer at TransferWise in New York.

The panel addressed how new brands are using language and behavioural science to improve customer experience, win fans, and become strong competition to well-established businesses.

The importance of communications was highlighted early on, with Brin stressing the need for a clear brand purpose, saying that, “If you claim you are transparent but people don’t know what you are talking about, then it comes off as fake.” With millennials openly supporting brands they believe are socially and environmentally conscious, having a clear brand ethos and promoting a brand image that stands for transparency can lead to success.

When talking about how language can affect brand experience, Dr. O’Brien offered the example of a small change Simply Business made when sending out texts to customers that had a surprisingly big impact. Simply Business added an introductory ‘Hi’ followed by the first name of the receiver at the top of its texts and saw a dramatic increase in the percentage of responses it got.

In a similar way, when Monzo reached out to its customers and tried to convince people to put money in their accounts via bank transfer, as it was the way that would cost money to the company, using the sentence ‘Would you mind doing us a favour?’ there was 25% drop of people transferring money in another way. Furthermore Ashridge, talked about avoiding ‘marketing language’ and having purpose and moral integrity as “What works best, isn’t always what is best.”

Even though the panel agreed that personalisation goes far and people want to be amused, it was made clear that companies shouldn’t take thing too far and they should maintain a business tone, because as O’Brien said, people don’t want companies to be corporate, but they want to them to be serious.

Schwa’s breakfast event further proved that the new generation of business professionals are seeking to challenge, change and reinvent the world of business through improvement and evolution. Brand experience has become the number one priority to service businesses, with people looking into behavioural science and language as a way to reach their audience in a friendly, personable way and develop a personal connection with their clients.

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