Lucy Alexander

By: Lucy Alexander,
Community Manager at ResearchBods.

When it comes to nailing tone of voice, it’s not what you say – it’s how you say it. Market research is most definitely a brand touch point, and should follow the same tone of voice as any other channel. Lucy Alexander, one of our Community Managers, talks us through maintaining that ‘one true voice’ to ensure everything we say resonates with our client’s customers.

ResearchBods megaphone

We work with some of the world’s top brands, communicating with hundreds (if not thousands) of their customers every single day via our bespoke Insight Communities. Clients like Asda, O2 and Coke place a huge amount of trust in us by letting us do this – we therefore owe it to them to get the tone of voice spot on.

Whether customers interact with a brand physically or digitally, the transition should be seamless. Customers are much more likely to engage with an Insight Community if they feel they are interacting directly with the brand. They’ll complete more activities, provide more feedback and ultimately more insights for the brand to act upon.


Here’s how we handle tone of voice to create multi-channel brand consistency:

1. Brand research

Before we launch a new Insight Community we do tons of research on the brand. Whether it’s watching TV adverts on YouTube, flicking through magazines, scouring websites and social media, or simply by spending time with our clients and their marketing team. Research is essential to help us live and breathe the brand and understand how they talk to their customers. The more we familiarise ourselves with all the different channels, the more able we are to replicate the tone of voice and create a seamless experience for customers.

2. Build trust

No one understands a brand’s tone of voice better than the client (although we like to think we come pretty close). We’re not afraid to ask for feedback to make sure we’re hitting the nail on the head. As Community Managers, we also act as ‘Brand Ambassadors’ so it’s our duty to be diligent. It’s better to ask and ultimately get it right, than to steam ahead and get it oh so wrong. Building trust with our clients is the best way to build trust with their customers and ensure the long-term success of the Insight Community.

3. Stay in character

On a daily basis, Community Managers speak to members in all sorts of ways – from one-to-one interactions via email, phone or messaging, to community-wide enewsletters, and regular copywriting for surveys and engagement activities. No matter how we’re communicating, staying in character and using a consistent tone of voice is key to keeping familiarity with the brand intact. BUT – we don’t want to sound like a brand robot, so we aim to keep it authentic and real, communicating with members in a way that makes them feel truly valued.

ResearchBods hats

4. Avoid jargon

One thing’s for sure, customers don’t like it when you throw market research survey jargon or acronyms at them. They’re not MRX professionals, they are real people, with real life opinions. We talk to them in an accessible and conversational way, to show them that we are real people too. If we run a survey or quick poll within the Insight Community, it’s important that the tone of voice is consistent with all the other brand touch points and doesn’t all of a sudden turn a bit, well, dull. Trust us, customers can spot the difference and are much more likely to stay engaged and complete activities if we keep the tone of voice on-brand.

5. Switch it up

We manage multiple Insight Communities and switch between them regularly on any given day. To say we wear different hats is a bit of an understatement! We firmly believe that one size doesn’t fit all, so we’ve become masters at switching hats. One client might encourage us to chat to their customers like old pals, for instance Costa, and another client might prefer us to take a more formal approach, for example Yorkshire Building Society. So, whilst we must be able to stay in character when necessary, we also know each individual brand so thoroughly that we can switch and adapt instantaneously.

To sum it up – by getting to know a brand inside and out, we’re able to bring the brand’s personality to life on our Insight Communities. If we speak to customers in the right way, it results in a two-way conversation, which in turn makes for successful research. Customers feel like they’re truly interacting with the brand, sharing their thoughts in a way that will make a real difference.


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