WEDNESDAY 11 NOV 2020 10:34 AM


A global survey of marketing, communication and brand directors analysing how the pandemic has affected brand communication, finds that 61% of respondents in the UK think brand comms have become more ‘soft and fluffy,’ showing a more human side. This compares with less than half globally.

At the other end of the scale, 28% in the UK think brands have become more formal and are better at holding back on unwanted communications and meaningless updated, versus a third globally.

“As our research shows, many companies are sending out irrelevant updates – often emails and social posts – often just so that they’re seen to be doing something. But if they have nothing useful to say, it’s usually better to say nothing,” says Meg Roberts, creative director at brand language consultancy Schwa.

The pandemic has also increased the value many companies place on their tone of voice, with many having to learn how to communicate delicate and difficult information. The research exposed big variations in where people felt humour can be used in their language and comms. Globally, Australia and Oceania came out on top with 70% of people saying they could be the funny in their comms.

Europe took the top spot for brands avoiding using humour entirely, with 23% of people saying they don’t use humour in Europe at all.  

“Brands overthink things when it comes to regional variations in their language. Your global tone of voice should work everywhere: how can you build an internationally known brand if you change your personality from market to market? You need to get people from each region involved when you’re developing your language guidelines, so you know what works where,” adds Roberts.

The survey reveals 99% of companies are monitoring or measuring the impact of their tone of voice, with 93% (97% in the UK) believing that tone of voice can impact business performance. PR and communications are those businesses using tone of voice most consistently