• Transform magazine
  • December 14, 2019

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Britain's boardroom brand language

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According to research conducted by research agency, Illuma, brand language has earned priority within Britain’s boardrooms, especially in the financial sector.

It states that, “the arrival of a new CEO has been shown to be the second most important trigger for defining an organisation’s tone of voice”, with the first trigger being a complete rebrand. It was found that 91% of senior management were engaged to a great or fair extent with the implementation of the new tone of voice.
 
Leading the progress in brand language are financial institutions hoping to regain trust after the financial crisis. The research states that they are most likely to have a defined tone of voice, and to spend the most on developing it (an average of £146k). The telecoms, media and technology sector follows with £129k, then health and pharma companies with £123k.  
 
Neil Taylor, creative partner at The Writer, says, "Most CEOs want to shift their customers’ perceptions, and to do that, you usually need to shift the internal culture, too. Some of the cannier ones have sussed how huge a role language has to play in both of those jobs, so have made their organisations’ tone a priority. That’s particularly true with financial services firms, who are desperate to show they’re worthy of our trust again. Well, the words you use are a big sign of that intent. So tone of voice shouldn’t be a fluffy marketing thing; it’s just as important in delivering bad news, or complex legal information."
 
He says, "We’ve seen brands increase click-through rates by 100% by switching a single word, and BT has saved nearly £6m by rewriting call centre scripts. Money talks, so it’s not surprising that senior people are getting behind tone of voice."
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