Sector sounds middle-aged, female

by Mark Rowe

The UK security industry speaks with a middle-aged, female voice, it’s claimed. A study by PH Media Group found the most popular voice used by security firms is female and aged between 45 and 55. It is the audio branding firm says warm, clear and intelligent in tone, helping to reinforce a sense of service and expertise.

According to PH Media, the female voice is perceived by customers as soothing and welcoming, so can help to provide assurance. But the audio branding company advises security companies to choose branding that suits their company values, and claims a male voice may be equally as effective.

Dan Lafferty, Head of Voice and Music at PH Media Group, said: “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. This is crucial given security firms must be seen to offer a reassuring, dedicated presence.

“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 audit of security firms’ on-hold marketing – the messages heard by callers when they are put on hold or transferred – found which voice and music is most widely used. The most popular music tracks were said to be professional and measured in style, designed to reinforce the sense of reliability and specialist knowledge conveyed through the tone of 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; according to Dan Lafferty, sound is a powerful emotional sense. He said: “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.”


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