The best selling products will usually have a voice of their own – a human aspect to which we can relate easily and that personifies a brand. Making products ‘talk’ is an important step in the marketing process. It’s what converts the consumer from being a passive member of the audience to an actual buyer.
Interacting and connecting with the audience is all part of building a product’s unique voice. Whether this is done through social media channels, a website or advertising content, giving your product a voice is vital.
One important step in defining a product’s voice is asking why it exists. As the creator, you know what your product does and how it does it, but establishing the reason why it is needed is crucial. Why would people need it and why should they care about it?
Products are often designed to address problems. Framing these problems as a story can help you to develop the context in which the product will be valuable. Identifying the why and acknowledging the product’s value for problem-solving is the first step in developing the product’s voice.
Building the product story
The story will lend the product its voice and build the framework that brings all the pieces together. That’s why adverts often take the form of a story – the audience can relate to it more easily and see the practical advantages of the product.
Stories often have a plot; a goal, obstacles and a journey to success. You need to include key messages in your story that show the purpose of the product. These messages need to resonate with your audience and make them want your product.
The story should support each feature of the product and then tie the whole thing together with a sense of purpose. This will answer the why for the audience and show them that your product indeed has a purpose and value.
Making the product’s voice real
Developing a product’s voice extends further than the story. Once the story ends (i.e. the advert is over), the products need to strike a chord with the audience and stay true to the brand. You need to acknowledge what is real about your product and what problem it aims to solve.
For example, if you need to send out automated emails to new users who sign up for your newsletter, acknowledge the fact that the emails are automated. This manages the expectations of your audience and builds a rapport based on transparency and trust.
Never try to deceive your audience. People want to buy products from honest businesses and avoid at all costs those companies that they deem deceitful. Be real with your audience.
Products change over time as they are refined and improved. As they become better, your brand development needs to stay consistent. The voice needs to stay the same but the product needs to improve. This makes a new product feel familiar to the audience. The voice is one they’ve heard before, interacted with in the past and one that they can trust going forward.
Once you’ve established the product’s voice through marketing, you need to keep it going on your website and social media channels. Having a style guide is a great way to establish the ground rules and keep the voice consistent, no matter who writes the articles or posts.
Your product voice will become a valuable tool for reaching out to the target market, so develop it with care. This voice may become instantly recognisable and can be used to attract attention from certain sectors of the audience. It becomes part of your brand and is an important part of how the audience views your product.
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