the difference between good words and the right words

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Have you ever written a story that you thought was fantastic, evocative and skillfully written, only to have a reader clearly misunderstand your point? Believe it or not, this is quite common in beginning writers. The reason? Oftentimes, many new writers have a world, plot line or idea growing in their imaginations long before putting a pen to paper. These details resonate in the words they write, even if the connection isn’t explicitly made. A third-party reader doesn’t know these details in a writer’s mind, creating a significantly different experience from what the writer intended. This roadblock isn’t unique to writers; the same complication arises time after time in advertising and marketing as well.

Lessons in Language

Take, for example, the urban legend involving the Chevy Nova. In English, nova is a cool word, describing the explosion of a star. For the Chevy marketing team, the concept of an explosively fast and powerful car met their needs perfectly. However, the car was reportedly a dud in Spanish-speaking countries because “No va” literally means “doesn’t go.” Although this story has been widely disregarded, the concept carries a great lesson. Just because a word carries a connotation to one person, or a group of people, doesn’t mean that it is seen the same way by everyone, especially across cultures. This is especially true in building a company brand.

What Word Choice Can Mean

When it comes to creating a brand story for your company, the language you choose is vitally important. Language can create the difference between a good strategy and a great one, or a bad marketing pitch and a successful one. When fashioning a brand story, being very clear in your language and word choices is imperative. Being able to craft a story that speaks to a demographic and still conveys the intended message part of effective branding.

Things to Consider

There are several main points to consider in creating a brand story. Finding an emotional tie to your story can be the extra step to success your company needs. Rather than simply telling customers to buy your product or use your service, show them why your business is necessary with the right language. In doing so, think about the context of the words you choose and their place in the image you are trying to create. As a precaution, you can use an unbiased third-party to read your brand story and give their first impressions, without knowing back story or any other information, to see if your idea is effective. Finally, be sure to back up your words with actions. No marketing strategy can succeed without a truthful representation.

No matter what brand story you want to tell, how you choose to tell it is just as vital. With the right word choice, you can convey a stronger message then your competitors, attracting new business and prompting current customers to come back again and again. Words are very important. The thoughts and images they can convey, when used properly, can go above and beyond in achieving a successful brand strategy.

randy bowden – t | f | g+

(image:123RF)

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4 thoughts on “the difference between good words and the right words

  1. Great topic. Diction is so important to language, and with tone and other emotional meanings hard to decipher over email, text or internet, it’s really important to choose the right words.

    I also think it’s really important for businesses and brands to embrace writing with a colloquial style, too.

    • Words are often over looked and missteps can happen even in a causal style of writing as well. I do agree find your natural, comfortable and open voice to meet your audience. Take time and grow along the path and as they say if you do not have any good thing to say, don’t!

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