On October 13, 2010, the Plain Writing Act of 2010 was signed into law by President Obama. Apparently, our government, which cannot reach an agreement on gun control, gay marriage, or healthcare reform – can wrap its bipartisan limbs around clear communication. Obviously, we don’t write so good.
And while Electrum Marketing tends to avoid politics like Walmart on Black Friday, we salute the brave politicians, who forbade federal “gobbledygook” in documents such as tax returns and college aid applications. And you thought Thomas Paine was brave for standing up to the British. Poppycock! Today’s bureaucrats stood up to jargon and run on sentences.
But even Thomas Paine knew to write his pre-Revolutionary War-era “Common Sense” in a style that common people understood. He opted not to use the philosophy and Latin references that were popular with writers of the era and instead wrote “Common Sense” like a sermon. Although he was not a religious man, he knew his audience was and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people. The result was not only a book with largest sale and circulation of any book in American history (in relation to the size of the colonies at the time), but a surge in support of the patriot cause.
There you have it. Simple language written in terms that your audience can understand can instill passion and create loyalty. What rang true for our forefathers can ring true for you as well. Your brand message should be written for your consumers and not for your colleagues. Do not promote content that is all about you, your business or your industry. It should be about your consumer, their lifestyle and their aspirations. Can you make their life better? Can you play a vital role in their lifestyle? Can you help them reach their goals? If your response is a laundry list of product specs then keep moving. No one cares about the technical specifications unless they sport a pocket protector and have a slide rule attached to their belt.
Need help with your brand messaging? Is it written to impress your CEO and not your consumer? Electrum Marketing can help. By replacing jargon with benefits, we can create a brand message that resonates with your customers and incites action.