Your words matter

Prevent brand deficit by giving your words meaning

How often do you call a company and are met with a human speaking like a robot?

Or, you watch an interview with the director of a major nonprofit organization and you come away without any greater insight into their cause?

What about the article you read written on the website of a local business that, despite the words, said nothing?

These businesses have either focused too much on their words that attempts to express customer empathy resulted in the loss of sincere discussion or they’ve disregarded their words to the extent that they have no meaning. Either way, you have no idea who they are and what they stand for, so why should you care?

“Don’t just tell them that you do business. Tell them why you do it and why you care.”

Businesses who can’t engage those who seek to engage with them run the risk of falling into a brand deficit. And, not surprisingly, those businesses are often left in a state of perpetual hustle to meet their bottom line.

Fortunately, there is a simple formula that can move these businesses in the right direction: Action + Words = Recognition*

The action is why you’re in business, whether you’re an animal welfare organization saving and re-homing animals or a major mobile carrier connecting people with the world.

But how do you make them care about what you do? That’s where your words come in.

First and foremost, remember your audience — and that it’s not you nor your competitor.

Once you know who you want to reach, don’t just tell them that you do business, tell them why you do it and why you care. Share the personal success stories that have come from doing the work that you do. Share the stories of those whose lives you’ve changed. Make a connection for your audience between your service and how it has helped people just like them.

Remember to be sincere and transparent. Don’t regurgitate from a script nor pander them with platitudes. Have a preconceived notion of the message and feeling you want to send and then have a conversation. Also, leave hubris out of it. You can dominate your field without having to dominate or mislead your customers.

“Your words matter … Don’t say you’re one thing and then be and do another.”

And always remember the equation. Your words matter, but actions do speak louder than words. Don’t say you’re one thing and then be and do another — or worse, not be able to back up your words.

*As any good communication professional knows, implementation is not quite as simple as a 1 + 1 equation, but we’ll go into greater detail on that and other points made in this article in future posts.