Case study: Aviva
A tone shaped by customers and tested by copywriters
Financial services' faux empathy and copywriting tropes don't work.
Just 25 percent of customers find this kind of copy reassuring.
That's what we found when we asked customers how Aviva's industry sounds now…and how they’d like them to sound.
Words that build meaningful relationships and trust – while standing out
We worked with a research partner to design a two-part virtual focus group, run a day apart. We showed people copy from the industry (with all branding removed) and asked them which words described how they feel about the company.
And we tested copy in various tones – to find out how far a financial services company can push originality and quirkiness before they erode that all-important trust.
On day two, we looked at what they remembered - and why.
Time to test the tone with the pros
Our research meant we could come up with a new tone that hit the sweet spot for Aviva. Next we needed to know their writers could (and would) use it across all their words. So Aviva’s in-house team took the guidelines for a road test - across B2B, B2C, ad campaigns, policies and regulatory comms. We took their feedback and finetuned the guidelines, ready to go out to everyone at Aviva.
"My ambition was to give the brand a human voice AND personality. To cut through the homogenised financial services noise and show customers who we are through what we say and how we say it in every interaction – just like when you communicate with a person.
Pairing a specialist agency with our own writers helped to step away from meaningless writing tropes and delivered a TOV that's embraced by brand, operations, content and creative teams. It's driven by customer insight, behavioural economics and a deep knowledge of how to produce creative, communications and digital customer experiences for all products, audiences and messages. (Not an easy thing to achieve when our product range and audiences are so varied.)
My team love it – it challenges them to get out of writing in auto-pilot to create something that’s a joy to write and read."
Helen Andreou, Digital Content Lead, Aviva