4 Consumer Trends That Can Inform Your Brand Voice

Say it with us now, “braaaaand voiiiiice.”

Your voice is what defines your brand. It gives you a unique personality. It builds brand awareness, allows you to stand out from competitors, and helps consumers relate to and remember you.

Without a unique brand voice, you’re just another fish in the sea, another ad in the feed, another box in the aisle…

You get the point. 🤷

Whether you’ve spent dozens of coffee-fueled hours brainstorming your perfect brand voice on a whiteboard, or you literally haven’t thought twice about it…

Keeping a pulse on trends in the consumer landscape can help you shift your voice in a direction that customers will resonate with.

Now, we’re not saying to throw out your tried-and-true identity to jump on the bandwagon (errrr brand-wagon?😉), but small adjustments to your brand voice as markets shift will help your brand remain relevant and connected.

Cuz whether we like or not, the times, they are a-changin'.

💡 But first! Quick tips for finding your brand voice:

If you fall into the “wait, I need a brand voice? 😬 category, here are some quick tips for getting started:

  • What are your values and overall mission? Understanding the heart of your company can help you find your voice, whether that’s empathetic, serious, authoritative, or entertaining.
  • Who is your target audience? How old are they? What are their interests? How would they talk to a friend? Adjust your voice to match how your ideal shopper might speak.
  • What do you sell? Your voice may also change drastically depending on your product offerings. While this is not a hard and fast rule, a company that sells meme T-shirts may be able to pull off a much more irreverent voice than one that sells office furniture.
  • How do you want your brand to make your customer feel? Happy? Inspired? Educated? Relaxed? These feelings can drive your brand voice as well.

Ultimately, nailing your brand voice involves thought, research, and trial and error, but hey, you gotta start somewhere right?

4 consumer trends to help drive your brand voice in 2022:

1️⃣ Humor

According to the 2022 US Consumer Trend Report by Attest, 57% of all consumers want marketing to amuse and entertain them, which is wayyy up from a measly 4% last year.

Surprisingly (no offense or anything), this desire for brands to be funny was highest among older demographics (66%).

We’re guessing people are tired of talking about politics, the pandemic, rising gas prices… and are just ready for a good ol’ fashioned belly laugh.

So, we say give the people what they want! Now is a great time to test a little humor, irreverence, or cheekiness in your marketing. 🤣

While there are hundreds of great examples, one brand that comes to mind when we think “funny” is Tushy. Say what you will about potty humor, but this bidet brand has it down.

2️⃣ Motivation, education, and inspiration

According to the same Attest survey:

  • 47% of consumers want brands to make them feel motivated
  • 34.5% want to be educated and to learn new things
  • 34% want brand messaging to be thought-provoking

So, is there an opportunity to adjust your brand voice to better educate, inspire, or motivate your audience? We bet there is.

One sector of the market that can really lean into this specific trend is health, fitness, or nutrition companies, considering 47% of Americans say they’re trying to improve their fitness or lose weight this year (51% for Gen Z). 💪

A company that nails the educational and thought-provoking brand voice is Seed Probiotics.

Pretty much their entire Instagram account is dedicated to educating customers on everything from the microbiome to planetary science (you’ll rarely see a “salesy post” from them here).

3️⃣ Relatability

Consumers (especially millennials and Gen Z) want more from brands than the standard marketing tactics, long-form dramatic sales letters, and basic coupon codes.

Now more than ever, people want brands to break through the “fourth wall” and talk to them like a fellow human, not just another customer.

Infusing a sense of humanity, relatability, and friendliness in your voice will go a long way in helping your audience feel connected to you as a brand. Relatability also builds trust—a vital factor in the buying process. 🙏🏻

Oatly is one brand that’s got the whole relatable thing down. Essentially all of their copy is written like they’re talking to a friend, which just makes them super darn likable.

4️⃣ Social, environmental, and political issues

Another consumer shift to be aware of is the growing desire for brands to take a stand on current events and issues.

This makes sense considering the global craziness of the past few years (Covid, riots, global conflicts, inflation, should we go on?...). 😟

Hot-button topics that consumers want brands to address include:

  • Poverty and inequality
  • Racism
  • Climate change
  • Women’s rights
  • Animal welfare and wildlife conservation
  • Disability rights
  • LGBTQ2+ rights

However, it should be noted that how much you lean into this trend highly depends on your brand, your mission, and your audience.

The desire for brands to take a stand on issues is much higher among younger populations like Gen Z. If your audience is primarily in this demographic, you may be able to connect with them on a deeper level by adjusting your brand voice to be more empathetic and aware of current events and issues. 🌍

On the flip side, 24% of consumers wanted brands to stay out of politics and social issues… So it’s helpful to know where your audience stands on this topic.

Additionally, consider the point above about humor. Will you help your audience forget the perils of reality with a few laughs? Or will you take more of a social responsibility approach, tackling the issues head-on?

Or, hey, novel idea: can you do both? 🤔

Dove is a brand that consistently infuses a sense of empathy into their brand voice and takes a stand on issues that matter to their audience, such as gender equality, women’s rights, racism, and body positivity.

The takeaways:

📣 Your brand voice is key to standing out and connecting with consumers.

💭 While you should always remain true to the brand, staying on top of consumer trends can help you adjust your brand voice to stay relevant.

4️⃣ Consumer trends to drive your brand voice in 2022:

  1. There’s a rapidly growing desire for brands to be humorous and entertaining
  2. Consumers want to be motivated, educated, and inspired by brands
  3. People want brands to be relatable and to talk to them like another human
  4. Younger consumers want brands to take a stand on social, environmental, and political issues
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