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Ask anyone how they distinguish charity shops, there's a big chance they'll mention brand colours. They have a huge role to play in attracting shoppers, of course. And being instantly recognisable is a large part of building a successful brand.

But to grow customer loyalty, you need more than an exciting palette. Your brand’s personality should help you create a unique customer experience. Something that makes your brand stand out from all other charity shops.

One of the ways to do so is to set a unique tone of voice that your customers can relate with.

Tone of voice is more than just what you say, it's how you say it. A clear and consistent tone of voice is an invaluable asset to your brand because it builds trust with your customers increasing their long-term value.

- Sarah Joynt-Bowe, Strategy Director

Why voice consistency matters

Like all elements of your brand, your tone of voice should be consistent on all materials. Having this brand consistency can increase your revenue by as much as 23%.

But for the charity sector, it may be harder than it is elsewhere. In part because of the high turnover rate (38% on average for qualified professionals). But also because the sector doesn’t just rely on full-time employees. Your volunteers and fundraisers are in contact with a huge number of people too. And yet, they rarely have the opportunity to attend your marketing meetings.

We’ve chosen to centralise the production of some of our branded designs to simplify our process. Having hundreds of shops producing their own content isn’t sustainable. It can’t guarantee consistency and that’s too important for us.

- Helena Forrest, Marketing Manager at Sue Ryder

So how do you achieve that when so many people are involved with design production?

Things you can do

You need to encourage people to use what your marketing team has worked on. It’s all about educating and trusting people in your team:

  • Train your shop managers on brand guidelines, including tone of voice.
  • Educate fundraisers and volunteers around the importance of brand consistency.
  • List words to avoid when communicating about your brand.
  • Write up repeatable messages people can choose from when creating designs.

How we help to ensure consistency

Many of our users don't have marketing expertise, so we worked on a built-in solution for our design platform. This is what inspired us to include a word checker*. It’s an easy way to prevent errors that also offers on-brand alternatives people can learn from.

We’re also working on a new feature that’ll make sign-off processes outdated. Choosing from a selection of pre-approved messages, users will be able to create designs in line with your brand voice. That'll prevent users waiting for sign-off from using tools that can't guarantee on-brand materials.

*The word checker is available in the Silver plan. Contact us to find out more.

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