Here’s a great example of how one business found the language that shows who they are – plus some more ruminations on voice.
The other night we stepped out for a quick dinner and drinks at Corner Bar, our favourite new local find in Rozelle.
Apart from the cosy atmosphere, chipper staff and tasty food, one thing that struck me was how true to brand the language was. The nibblies were described as smalls, not tapas or appetisers. The fries were chunky-cut, not shoestring. The pizza was a ‘slab’, the antipasti were ‘share boards’, the burgers and other bread-based eats were ‘street sambos’.
All those words reinforce the image of urban rusticism that the bar exudes, and that’s an achievement more important than you may think.
How many businesses out there tout the seemingly identical ideals of passion, dynamism and efficiency? So many you could probably switch their vision statements without anyone noticing.
It’s worth exploring the language you’ll need to express your brand. Are you exclusive, niche, low-cost or high-tech? Once you’ve defined your personality, stick to it – and don’t let anyone talk you out of it.
Here’s another story to illustrate my point. An esteemed Sydney jeweller hired a hot-shot agency some years ago to reinvigorate its marketing materials. That agency chose to ditch the jeweller’s flowery language and use a slicker style of prose. The result? Flopped sales and a damaged reputation. The style of prose now used in this highly successful jeweller’s collateral? Flowery and romantic.
Try logging on to your favourite online thesaurus and diving into the subtle variations that exist on your core brand concepts, to find words that express your business more precisely than ‘passion’ or ‘efficiency’.
For example, enter the word ‘efficient’ into an online thesaurus, and you’ll get close to 50 alternative words. Here are a few:
Accomplished – Not strictly a synonym, but could do the job if you’re after a loftier, more highbrow feel.
Capable – Shows experience and know-how. Implies a work ethic less ant-like than ‘efficient’.
Economical – Now we’re onto something specific: dollars and cents. Note: do not use if your service offering is in any way premium.
Fast – Perhaps you prefer to keep things simple with a one-syllable word like this.
Organised – Aha, this one refers to actual systems – again, much more more meaningful than just ‘efficiency’.
Get in the habit of creating a list of core brand words, distributing it among staff and updating it regularly.