The UK logistics industry breaks traditional gender stereotypes through its marketing and branding, new research has revealed.
A study conducted by PH Media Group found the most popular voice used by logistics firms and couriers in their audio branding is female and aged between 35 and 45. It is also confident, fresh and trustworthy in tone, helping to reinforce a sense of specialist expertise.
This might come as a surprise given typical preconceptions of the industry and a predominantly male workforce but a feminine voice is generally perceived as soothing and welcoming, so can help to provide assurance in an industry where reliability is crucial.
Dan Lafferty, Head of Voice and Music, PH Media Group.
However, audio branding specialist PH Media Group advises firms to choose branding that suits their specific company values and claims a male voice may be equally as effective.
"A female voice offers a soft, soothing presence, especially when combined with relaxed music, so can help to instil customers with a sense of ease and openness," said Dan Lafferty, Head of Voice and Music at PH Media Group.
"This is crucial given customers must be able to place their trust in couriers or logistics operators to get the job done efficiently and on time.
"But that doesn't mean it will necessarily be the best fit across the board and companies should use a voice which best reflects their products, customer base and service proposition. An older, deeper male voice, for example, is perceived as authoritative and professional, providing customers with a different kind of reassurance."
The research audited couriers and logistics firms' on-hold marketing - the messages heard by callers when they are put on hold or transferred - to reveal which voice and music is most widely used.
The most popular music tracks were uplifting and friendly in style, designed to instil customers with confidence and reinforce the sense of trust conveyed by the voice.
Many firms opt to use popular music tracks but, due to existing emotional associations, these tracks are often unsuitable in convincing a customer to buy.
"Sound is a powerful emotional sense," added Dan. "People will often attach feelings, both positive and negative, to a piece of commercial music, which will be recalled upon hearing it.
"Placing a piece of commercial music in an on-hold situation, no matter how cheery and upbeat it may seem, is a lottery of the individual's previous experience of the track. Using commercial music is also a square peg, round hole scenario, taking a piece of music and trying to make it fit a new purpose to convey a message it was never intended to.
"A bespoke music track starts from the ground up, with each element forming or reflecting the brand proposition, and with there being no previous exposure among the client base. The physical attributes of the track - whether major, minor, fast, slow, loud or quiet - are used to communicate emotional meaning, rather than the personal experience of the individual."