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Mind your language! A look at some of the jargon behind today’s most successful brands

Language is at the core of every branding success story. It’s how businesses relay purpose and personality, establishing a connection with their target audience that goes beyond one purchase or one contract. Often we use language on autopilot, but effective messaging requires more careful consideration.

We thought we’d break down a few language barriers by explaining what some of the different elements of your brand actually mean.

Verbal identity

Your business is about more than a brightly coloured logo or a quirky colour palette. What you say is just as important as how you look, and that’s exactly where verbal identity comes in. Verbal identity is made up of your values and vision statement to influence how your brand is perceived. It’s relevant for everything from top-level mission statements to everyday communications – and it’s harnessed in every word you write, whether you know it or not.

Tone of voice

Tone of voice is a part of your verbal identity and has more to do with how you say things than what you’re saying. It determines whether your words fall flat on a page or capture your reader’s interest from the get go. When reviewing your tone of voice, there are three things to consider:

·         How do you talk about yourself?
·         How do you speak to your customers?
·         How do you sound compared with your competitors?

Company values

Your values are the foundation beneath your feet, and they impact everything from the way your staff talk about the company to the respect you earn in the industry at large.

To understand your values, you have to ask the question Why? Why was your company created? Why do you offer the products or services you do? Why are you different from others? And, most importantly, why should someone do business with you?

Once you know what you stand for, make sure it’s communicated in everything you write.

Vision statement

As important for motivating your staff as projecting your passion to customers, your vision statement is your mid-term to long-term agenda. The way your vision statement is written is really important – it will help to set guidelines for daily decisions that take you one step closer to achieving it. Whether you choose to share your statement publicly or not, it’s important to establish one and reflect on it with everything you do – and everything you write.

Mission statement

While your vision statement is forward-looking, your mission statement encompasses the here and now. This is something you should definitely be communicating – in order to create one, here are three simple questions to ask yourself:

·         What does your company do?
·         Who does it do it for?
·         How does it do it?

Start getting straight to the heart of you

Stratton Craig has the skill and expertise to define and develop each of these essential terms – helping you complete your brand toolkit in the process.  Plus, our writers have produced award-winning content for companies across a wide range of sectors, so we also have the know-how to communicate your messages to the right people, at the right time and in the right way. Contact us to find out more.

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