Words matter

Words frame your message & express your intent

The right words can build companies, inspire communities or change the world. Words can make your product take off – make your business fly.

Because with the right words, suddenly, everyone understands who you are and what you do.

People can see what you offer is desirable, different and necessary.

Words, created with precision, have the power to excite the mind.

Words summarise complex concepts and change behaviour.

Words are business assets

There is no better way to distil an idea than to put it into words.

Words create stories. It is your story that defines your company and your products to users. Stories express your intent and make your business understandable to others.

So it is your story that attracts customers – makes them feel comfortable dealing with your business. Your narrative makes you unique and sets you apart from your competitors.

It is your story that attracts the best people to work for you.

Humans communicate through words

In an era awash with 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 Apple’s 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 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 amaze you with their power to shape perceptions?

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 select words that are meaningful to them. It’s a form of strategic messaging.

The right words are fundamental to your business or products. They become the primary asset of your company – so treat them seriously.

The good thing is that creating the right words for your business is based on five easy to understand principles:

  1. People make purchase decisions emotionally.
  2. People generally buy something to ease discomfort or pain.
  3. 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.”
  4. 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 finally, Google’s goal “To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
  5. 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 genuine, understandable emotional connection with your users. Your words have to show that you understand their needs. That you can be trusted to deliver a solution to the pain-point they are feeling right now.


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