Brand Languages And Successful Businesses That Use Them

Photo by Darke Lv on Unsplash

The words you use matters, especially when branding a business. Brand language describes what your business do and how you do it, as well as setting your customers and employees expectations from your brand.

And as Mike Brown from Brainzooming have said, “When devising your strategy for how to brand a company, don’t overlook the brand language. You can leave the selection of brand language to chance, accident, or time. Making solid brand strategy decisions on brand language, however, helps make sure the words you use not only matter, but also work as hard to benefit your brand as possible.”

You are creating the foundation on which your customer will build perceptions. That’s why when you develop your brand language you must make sure that you use words that are:

Simple

Easy to understand words that everyone knows and uses in your marketplace.

Emotional

Tapping into an appropriate range of experienced-based emotions creates strong impact.

Aspirational

Conveys the hope and dreams of everyone involved in your business.

Unusual

There are words that are so distinct and rarely used they stick out and becomes memorable.

Connectable

Sometimes there are words you can pair up with other words, word parts and phrases to create something new.

Open

Use words that can bring depth to your brand because they can be defined in multiple ways or applied in various situations.

Twistable

And words you can use in various ways and forms.

The Language of Identifiers

Identifiers gives us subtle clues of how something should be used or compared, revealing a hidden value or use case you may not have understood before purchase. This also works in more abstract, experience identifiers.

Take Starbucks for example, at the start of their branding they released subtle reference to “The Third Place” — where the comfort of both your home and office is available to you.

Photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash
Starbucks brand
Starbucks

The Third Place did not exist before and we wouldn’t have understood its value if Starbucks did not name it. This is an example of creating identifiers that allows your audience to be more open to new experiences, belief or expectations. As other brands try to communicate home and work environment, no one has effectively removed preconceived notion or expectations as Starbucks.

The Language of Metrics

The language of metrics covers any metric that quantifies value to the customer whether with hard numbers or soft descriptions. Whether it’s features, size, number of customers, revenue, growth or all other metrics, most often than not, it’s the biggest player who sets the standards.

So why do people try to aspire or exceed those standards and fail to? It’s because we let other companies dictate the language of metrics. And when you use the same metrics as everyone else, you’ll most likely fall to the “better” trap.

Box’s brand is a better version of Dropbox, but that does nothing to differentiate them. Better is actually worse. Different is what matters.

Jasmine Bina, The 16 Rules of Brand Strategy

And a great example of different is MapR.

MapR brand
MapR

They don’t use the same metric as everyone which in turn moves the goal post closer to their brand and farther from their competitor.

The Language of Vocabulary

In the language of vocabulary, your day-to-day vocabulary matters. It is the signal of what people can expect from your brand and at the same time dictates your CTAs and consumer behavior.

Speaking in a way your audience expects your brand to is a good thing, sure. Like in the nonprofit sector.

Red Cross brand
Red Cross Paraguay

But Falken Tires thought differently, in 2016 they changed their tagline from High Performance Tires to On The Pulse. According to Stephan Cimbal, Head of Marketing of Falken Tires Europe, “Competitors are all communicating on quality, reliability and safety but for a challenger brand like Falken we don’t have 50 years to build a reputation”, which is true compared to the other players on the industry.

Falken brand, on the pulse tagline
Falken

They focused on a more human-centered language that their competitors communication did not use. They are a challenger tire company that focuses on youthful excitement while others are tethered to heritage.

By changing the language they were able to shift the playing field.
Your language is a choice so choose your words carefully. Now that you’ve thought of your language, what’s your next step? Talk to us! We can help you reach your audience and build a community for your brand with the new language you choose.

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Jan Klaudette De Guzman

I write coffee induced content.

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