“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” Of all the quotes I’ve ever read, that has to be the most shortsighted. It is apparent that whoever uttered those words must never have heard the worst words. Consider this contrasting quote, “A tongue has no bones but can break a heart.” The latter quote paints a poignant picture about the true power of words.
Truth is, words are immensely potent in their ability to impact our lives and the lives of those around us. Children, especially, take the words we speak to the heart and, oftentimes, the nature of the words we choose to use toward or around them shapes their perceptions of self and the world around them, respectively. This is why positive reinforcement will always yield more desired results than negative reinforcement, regardless of the endeavor in question.
The words we use to tell our story can make or break that story and, more importantly, how people respond to that story. When we speak or write about ourselves, do we come across as cocky or confident, self-assured or egotistical, intelligent or condescending, straightforward or obnoxious? The answers depend on our word choice. The difference in others’ perception of us lies in our ability to effectively communicate who we are using the right words. It goes without saying that while using the right words are important, for us to be genuine or authentic, our actions must then align with our words.
The importance of correct word choice transcends the quality of our interpersonal relationships. They extend to the realm of business—how our brand is perceived and received by our customers or target audience. A former mentor of mine often said to me, “Human beings are emotional creatures, so buying is an emotional decision.” Well, if buying is an emotional decision, then naturally, selling ought to have an emotional strategy.
In my view, the best marketers in the world understand this phenomenon, which is why there’s much ado about keywords when it comes to SEO and word triggers in ad campaigns. Content marketers must realize that, for the most part, customers choose brands because of how that brand makes them feel and not what the brand sells. Therefore, the most effective ads use emotive words that make the brand come across as authentic and invoke real, relatable emotions in the viewer.
It is my long history as a wordsmith and deep understanding of the power of words and their importance in storytelling that I chose to make compelling brand storytelling the core mission of Enrich My Brand. Many creative agencies—some vastly bigger than ours—offer a range of industry-standard services when it comes to brand management, especially electing to focus on elegant design. While the aesthetics of your business are important in illustrating how professional your brand looks, the words that tell your story are arguably even more important because they communicate how your brand feels and what values it inspires in others. You could call it your brand personality.
If seeing is believing, then hearing is confirming. I firmly believe that if we can become intimately familiar with our clients’ mission and target audience, if we can truly understand what motivates or influences their customers, then and only then can we tell the most compelling stories that will appeal to them by using the correct words that speak to their desires.
In closing, I humbly invite you to examine your marketing communications and evaluate how compelling your stories read to your target audience. Is your brand conveying its most authentic identity? Do your marketing campaigns make you come across as a solutions provider who wants to build a relationship with your customers so as to meet their needs? Or do you come across as just a basic seller of products or services for profit? Do your press releases communicate major news in a manner worth your shareholders or other stakeholders getting excited about? Do your blog articles position you as a subject matter expert in your industry? Do your email newsletters tell a story that is part of a bigger narrative of consistent progress?
Friend, if you’re even so much as remotely uncertain about your answers to these questions, then please contact us ASAP and let us help you put your best foot forward. It would behoove you to have your story told by passion-driven wordsmiths who understand storytelling, and whose every word is carefully crafted with your brand and your target audience in mind.
Kenny, Chief Wordsmith