Differentiating Brand Voice in an Age of Excessive Exclamation!!!

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Apr 21, 2017 6:16:16 PM

Excessive Exclamation Points?!!!  Who? Me?  

I recently received a note expressing concern over my “overuse” of exclamation points: “You might want to reconsider your tendency to overuse exclamation points.” Overuse?  Overly emphatic?  Me?  OK.  Fair enough. Still, I requested an explanation. I wasn’t offended by the feedback.  I was just curious about the commentary.  I sensed a big discussion behind the advice. Alas, I received no reply. 

So I began to think about the meaining of my reader’s feedback.  I "might" want to reconsider my overuse of exclamation points?  Was this a complaint?  A soft recommendation?  Sarcastic criticism?  

At the end of the day, the use of exclamation points is about communicating tone.  And tone is largely a matter of taste—as in “there is no accounting for…”

For my part, when it comes to issues of usage and style, I tend to be rather pragmatic: Whatever works, I say!!!  

Still, tone is hard to determine in online communication.  But then that's the whole point: Communicating tone in digital media requires content writers rethink the traditional rules and tools of style--including the use punctuation to project meaning and tone.  Effective brand writing across digital channels is a complex issue, one that requires more than placing a ban on multiple exclamation points. Here's some issues to consider...

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Topics: Brand Voice, B2B Brand Writing, B2B Branding,, Brand Strategy, B2B Digital Marketing, Digital Marketing, B2B Content Writing, Content Strategy

What Band is Your Brand?  Pop Icons Provide a Language for Brands.

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Apr 7, 2017 2:28:54 PM

 

Brand Archetypes are nothing new.  That's the problem.  They need a refresh. 

Marketers have long used mythical archetypes to fashion brand stories.   Mythic archetypes appeal to the values of audiences by explaining how a brand enables participation in a heroic story.  For instance, in an article for the Content Marketing Institute, Bryan Rhoads explains that the archetypal “Overcoming the Monster” story line follows a prototypical “David vs. Goliath” structure that places customers as the quintessential “underdogs” in a fight against a “larger evil”: 

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Topics: B2B Branding,, Brand Identity, Brand Voice, Brand Story, Brand Development, B2B Brand Writing, Brand Archetypes

High- and Low- Brand Diction: Little DIfferences, Big Differentiation

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Apr 5, 2017 6:05:04 AM

Small is Tall: Marketing in a Nutshell

 

Yeah yeah--small, tall, whatever.  Just give me the caffeine.  

We all know that clever little "disruptor": Some sneaky marketing genius at Starbucks decided that their small coffee would be known as a "tall"--a shift in diction that happens to earn about twice as much for the comparably sized "small" cup of coffee at McDonalds.  

Words matter.  What's the difference between a hotel and a motel?  Sometimes--maybe often--just a letter and about $50 a night.  And there you have it: Marketing in a nutshell. 

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Topics: B2B Brand Writing, Brand Style Guide, Brand Voice, Brand Writing, B2B Content Writing, Content Creation, B2B Content

How to Differentiate Your Brand Voice: Some Essential, if Unusual, Tips.

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Apr 4, 2017 6:29:54 PM

How to Differentiate Your Brand Voice: Some Essential Tips

 

 

When it comes to authentic branding, whatever else you do, I highly recommend NOT referring to your brand’s “value proposition” as a “quality solution.”

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Topics: B2B Brand Writing, Brand Voice, Brand Writing, Differentiators, B2B Content Writing, Content Writing, B2B Content, B2B Digital Marketing, Tone, Style, Brand Style Guide

The Grammar of Brand Writing: Effective Branding and the Myth of Proper Grammar

Posted by Owen Matson, Ph.D. on Mar 27, 2017 8:00:00 AM

Effective Marketing is Effective Writing. But what is effective writing? 

Wait, one second, let me get my Mark Twain on: Now there ain't a rule in this here language what can't be broke. The so-called rules of English grammar and style were not spoken by a burning bush; they're just guidelines about what's likely to be effective. If you learn to treat them that way, you'll live a happier life.

Effective writing comes down to 3 simple steps:

  1. Figure out where your audience is now.
  2. Figure out where you want your audience to end up.
  3. Take them from one to the other.

If you can pull it off, anything goes.

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Topics: Content Strategy, Content, Content Writing, B2B Brand Writing, Writing, Grammar, Style, Brand Voice

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