Brand Strategy: Why Copywriting With Gusto Wins.
In short bursts, use colorful language.
Early marketing days: Precise, matter-of-fact language that articulated the benefits of their products/services.
These days: Various forms of slang, abbreviations, memes, and emojis to connect with an ever growing audience.
Both approaches are simply the bi-product of their era, no ones fault, but today, we are up against low trust factors because there are thousands of businesses starting every day, making it hard for brands to differentiate themselves.
The core problem - People want to promote awareness for their products or services, but are swimming up stream against a never ending current of oversaturated information. So how does your business say something meaningful to a specific audience without bogging down the message and it getting lost in the digital ether?
The quick answer - Write in shorter sentences with more colorful words. Use the the kind of language that sticks to the walls of people’s minds by saying less, but with more meaning.
Not necessarily big words to sound smart…
…but colorful words that will retain attention.
This is more of an art, not a science - and a fun exercise, not some branding scripture. My approach, and suggestions to clients, is to first explore and define the tone-of-voice of your brand. Do you speak to your customers like a friend would? Or is there a level of professionalism you want to maintain? Whatever your style, there’s a mountainous list of vocabulary words specific to your brand’s tone-of-voice you can leverage when marketing.
If you’re in business, the general purpose is to solve problems for people, and those people are wildly skeptical before they become a real customer. So know your industry - because if you’re speaking to them in a politically correct tone, free from adversity, and use marketing jargon that’s generalized for everyone, they’ll quickly move on - and a brand that communicates in short, meaningful bursts with memorable words can often take your place and gain your would-be customer.
So how do you say more of what you mean?
Personal Confidence is:
“Knowing what you’re good and bad at, and accepting both” - Chris Do
Similarly, I would say:
Brand Confidence is:
Knowing what you do and do not stand for, and accepting both.
The point is, try not to pander to everyone. When you are at peace with yourself, you can pretty much say anything with confidence because you holistically accept what you (or your brand) stands for. So the better you know your tone-of-voice, the more confidence you have when speaking to your customers.
Certainly, too many people just say what’s right, the expected, the safe play - and not how they really feel, maybe ever, to anyone. It’s hard, and I’m working on it, too. But in the end it’s OK to be more human, give a damn, and say what you actually mean without pandering for likes. Blair Enns has a great perspective on the role of being courageous within a time of hand-cuffed conventions:
“I have very little sense of obligation to be "right" in my thinking. It's not my job to be "right." I'm in the courage business. I'm in the empowerment business. It's my job to give people the courage to take action. It's my job to provoke and to get people to think about things differently. I'm fighting tired, horrible, ridiculous conventions. It's my job to shatter conventions — to get people to think differently...to give them the courage to try something different. It's not like I'm comfortable being wrong...it's not about being right or wrong. It's really about having a point of view — and provoking my audience to think about things differently.”
Have a story to share?
Email me directly if you’re working on the tone-of-voice of your business or have questions on this evolving topic.