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3 secrets to creating irresistible brand language

Brands want writing that gets them noticed. They want words to stop prospects. Moreover, they want that language to get those prospects excited about what they have to offer. In short, most brands strive for writing that makes them desirable.

But what if you wanted more? What if you wanted your writing to go beyond desirable? What if you wanted your writing to make your brand irresistible?

What makes some brands beloved while others languish in obscurity? The answer is that those beloved brands know the secrets to creating a brand that rises above. Much of that has to do with the language they use.

That language is no happy accident. Here are 3 secrets that those brands know and that you can put to work on your soon-to-be-irresistible brand.

  • Secret 1. Know who you want to engage.
    Seems obvious. But too many wanna-bes blow right by this advice because they think they already know their prospects. They usually have some vague prospect description — like “young mothers”. But they don’t take the time to put themselves in the shoes of those they hope to serve. That means understanding what’s important to those young mothers (or whoever you have identified). What challenges they face. And what dreams they have. When we demonstrate that we understand these things, we take that first step to becoming irresistible to them.
  • Secret 2. Make sure it’s not about you.
    We don’t know what to write, so we write about what we know best. We write about the features and functions of our brands. We write about ourselves. And this is where things take a turn toward brand oblivion. Our prospects don’t what to hear about us. They want to hear about their needs, desires, and dreams. Look at the language you have been using. If it speaks more about you than about the lives of those you hope to serve, then it’s time to retool.
  • Secret 3. Write like humans speak.
    For starters, let’s clear away all the jargon and acronyms. The only one you are impressing with that stuff is yourself. Our language should have the voice of a real person. It should feel natural — as if it were overheard in a conversation. This is tough because we’ve all been led to believe that business writing should be just about the diametrical opposite of this type of language. But let’s face it. What would you rather hear? The awkward stiffness of company-memo language? Or something that lilts and flows like a conversation with a good friend?
  • Bonus secret. Make it emotional.
    Okay, you’ve read this far. You deserve a bonus. So here it is. One of the most powerful things you can do with your brand language is to make it emotional. Make it elicit a smile. Make raise goose bumps. Make it so achingly beautiful — full of longing and desire — that it brings tears. Identify what emotion you can own and own it. And then protect that emotion. Don’t let the over-analytical hammer flat your language, beating any iota of emotion out of it.

Language is one of the most potent tools any brand can wield. Make the effort to make the most of yours. After all, it has the potential to take you from simply being acknowledged to becoming irresistible.

Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail — a brand innovation company, helping organizations find their unique, undeniable and unshakable sense of purpose and create innovative experiences that bring it to life.

Originally published at on March 5, 2020.

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Dan is an expert brand strategist and author of the book Big Audacious Meaning — Unleashing Your Purpose-Driven Story. He is a founder at Will & Grail.

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