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The Superpower of Alliteration

How Alliteration Can Work in Marketing

In order for marketing copy to be powerful it must have a strong call-to-action. Words are still an essential piece of the visual stimuli in marketing. Because fewer words are necessary to convey a message or invite conversation, every word must tell (thanks, Strunk & White). Each sentence must pack the punch you need it to, so you can share expertise your fan base needs or begin a dialogue that spreads your brand influence online.

Use Words for Memorable Marketing

There are many ways to use words to market online, in graphics, blogs, status updates, or polls. Certain techniques with language itself will aid Internet users with brand memory at the moment of purchase. You can use the sounds of words, much like poetry or a song, and give it a memorable rhythm. Just as songs can be catchy and stick in your head, so can alliteration.

What’s alliteration? Alliteration is the repetition of sounds within words and phrases. Alliteration is a language device that allows the brain to remember exact phrases and written concepts with accuracy. Consider this next sentence; it is likely you know it.

She sells seashells by the sea shore.

If your memory served you well, you remembered it accurately or your memory highlighted the repetitive S and Sh sounds. This is alliteration’s remembrance power. Psychological studies have shown that alliteration can act as a better tool for memory than both imagery and meaning, though there is no indication as to why.

Shouted or Silent, the Effect Remains

One of the most recent studies, published in the July 2008 issue of Psychological Science, showed that it did not matter if the words were read aloud to highlight the sounds or if they were read silently; the effect was still the same.

“The results demonstrate alliteration only works as a tool for memory when the alliterative sounds are similar,” reads one article, showing it is the repeated sounds that aid memory strength. “The results of all three experiments underscore the interaction between alliteration and memory. In each of the experiments, participants in the same-alliteration condition were able to recall the most from the literature they read.”

“The word ‘design’ is not limited to visual marketing; be intentional about language to effectively spread brand influence.”

Alliteration results in Intentional Influence

So how can we use alliteration online to aid brand memory and help customers “recall the most” from the materials they've read about your company? Think about the following common brand names and listen to the sounds.

Coca-Cola

Dunkin Donuts

Best Buy

PayPal

BlackBerry

You recognized them all, right? That’s because these brand names are alliterative, and so more memorable. Use alliteration in marketing copy, within company brochures, social media posts, or a brand tag line. Repeat the sounds of the words that will influence others to seek your customer solution. The word “design” is not limited to visual marketing; be intentional about language to effectively spread brand influence.


Corissa Haury 2016

I originally wrote this for the Dream Local Digital blog in 2013.

You can find me on Twitter, Like my Facebook author page, or read more fiction on my writing blog, Corissa Haury’s Writing

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