Words surround us. We see them, hear them, speak them – depending on who is saying them, we may often ignore them. But in the bigger scheme of things, do words really matter anymore? In this digital age, where images and videos are everywhere. When you can hop over to ChatGPT which can reportedly spit out hundreds of words with only a simple prompt. Gone are the days of handwritten letters and people waiting by their mailboxes to see if they will hear from their friend or relative who is in a distant place, and there is no other way to communicate with them. What has become of words?
The other day, I was poking around for something or another, and came across a website for a well-known company, and was surprised to see that the homepage did not have any words on it. It was a scrolling banner of images. I suspect – had I been truly intrigued, I would have tried to click on one of the images, to see what happened. Turns out, I wasn’t, and left the site to move on to whatever it was I had been looking for in the first place.
The world may be changing, but I would argue that words have not lost their importance. In fact, words may be more important than ever. Choice of words can be key to how people perceive your product or your offering – or you. And if you are interested in growing your business globally, it is more important than you may realize to have an understanding of the nuances of the language in all regions where you are interested in thriving.
- Words can excite… would you rather “learn about” something or “discover” what it has to offer?
- Words can demean… you would be “wrong” to consider anything else!
- Words can build… “imagining the ultimate you”.
- Words can destruct… choose that and the “backlash” will be costly.
- If you don't understand them fully words can confuse... 猫の手も借りたい!
What words you choose allows you to define your brand, express who you are to the world, grow a relationship with your audience and turn them into enthusiasts.
Words can build a bridge, or a barrier. Any good copywriter will tell you the agony of searching for just the right word, or phrase, to convey a specific tone of voice, idea, or emotion.
Our blog this week is a short, but important reminder to pay attention to words, what they mean to you – and what they may mean to somebody else. Words affect everyone. Use them wisely.
Please be sure to watch these two insightful TED talks on the subject:
- TED-Ed Student Talks, Jackson Drew - How words affect us.
- TED Talk, Lera Boroditsky - How language shapes the way we think.
Interested in finding your brand's authentic voice? Learn more here.