I was introduced last week to a genuinely fabulous organisation called Free Word. Their mission is both worthy and joyous – to promote and protect the written and spoken word.
We spent an outstanding evening in Farringdon in the company of some of the country’s finest young poets, including the current Young Poet Laureate for London Aisling Fahey, DJ James Massiah, and polymath Mark Rylance, whose ability to soothe, cajole & excite simultaneously through speech, whether writing or performing, is simply remarkable.
That evening I learned that our language houses a word for the state of finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning: ‘dysania’. Look it up if you don’t believe me.
We also own a word to describe your hesitation when introducing someone whose name has temporarily deserted you: ‘tartle’. And what a fine word it is too.
I left inspired by the wonder of language, and wondering why so few brands ever use its power and range to genuinely attempt to stimulate emotions and to differentiate.
We’re all taught one or more languages from a young age. Most of us then shuffle our vocabulary like Scrabble pieces throughout our lives, here and there picking up a new word to drop periodically into our familiar speech patterns. As we saw in last month’s blog, the same is true for whole categories of brands.
If this sounds familiar and you work in branding you’ll find yourself at a distinct disadvantage. For whilst the visual impact of any branded experience has immense and instant power to persuade, it is the sound of a brand that lingers long afterwards.
This is because we access and communicate our thoughts and feelings using words. Which means that the words we use to describe our brands have the potential for greater long-term persuasive impact than what it looks like.
As a brand owner, perhaps spend a little more time crafting the sound of your brands, rather than the logo, for the simple reason that you can create a longer lasting impact on the brands’ performance and that of your business.
So this afternoon, why not follow the Twitter hashtag #freewordoftheday for some verbal inspiration instead of striding around as though you’re busy even though you’re not. Yup, there’s a word for that too...