Words frame your message & express your intent
Words summarise complex concepts and change behaviour
How you can use words as business assets
There is no better way to distil an idea than to put it into words.
Words form stories. And it is your story that defines your company and your products to users. Stories expresses your intent and makes your business understandable to others.
So it is your story that attracts customers – makes them feel comfortable dealing with your business. Your story makes you unique and sets you apart from your competitors. And it is your story that attracts the best people to work for you.
Humans communicate through words
In an era awash in imagery, flooded with video . . . when many in the communications business talk endlessly about the importance of logos, big data, click rates and social media engagement, it is important to remember the basics.
We’ve always used words to spark engagement and excite emotion. Words put concepts in a nutshell. The right words shape behaviour.
Describing your product or service with a clearly expressed truth is a business asset like no other.
Even the shortest of words can be powerful
Take Apple for example. What words do you think best describe the meaning of Apples’ products to their users? The answer.
It is not even a word . . . just the letter “i”. The iMac, iPod, iPhone and the iPad”.
The name says this Apple product is all about me. Technology that is designed for the “i” that is me. At an unspoken emotional level, the meaning of Apple products is baked into the name.
Words. Don’t they just rock you with their power?
What the right words can do
The right words create an emotional engagement between you and your reader. This is not an accident. By understanding the emotional state of your user you can create words that are meaningful to them. It’s a form of strategic messaging.
The right words are fundamental to your business or products and they become the primary asset of your business – so treat them seriously.
The good thing is that creating the right words for your business is based on five easy to understand principles:
- People make purchase decisions emotionally
- People only buy something to ease discomfort or pain
- People need a rational reason to justify their buying decisions to themselves and to others (“It was the best value around”, or “It was made by this amazing artist. She doesn’t make many. It is really rare”, and “It made me feel better right away. It was just what I needed”.
- People are risk averse – they want to know the “why” about your business. Emotionally they respond to answers like “We help ordinary people get good quality foods at affordable prices.” or “My community newspaper is the journal of record that chronicles everyday life’s important events.” And Google’s goal “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
- People need to trust you before they’ll do business with you. Your job is to help them to form that bond of trust. Remember that people are pretty smart about responding to the truth in the stories you tell them.
The right words must create a factual, understandable emotional connection to your users. Your words have to show that you understand their needs. That you can be trusted to deliver a solution to the need they are feeling right now.