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Verbal Design: It sort of goes unnoticed, but not for much longer. Here’s why…

28th June 2017

 
You probably don’t need us to tell you that every brand now has quite a few different touch points – the ways in which you can interact with it. And while having more ways and opportunities to engage with an audience is no doubt good for brands. It also means there is a greater chance of brands annoying their audience and driving them (you!) away.
 
All it can take is for an audience to have poor experiences with a few of a brand’s many touch-points, and it can influence their perception of the entire brand, and ultimately their behaviour towards it.
 
Luckily, help is at hand, and it comes in the form of the written word.
 
Words are what are (at last) rising in prominence in a complex brand world. Words are being championed as the glue that will hold together all of the different parts of a brand – the touch-points.
 
Of course, words in branding are nothing new. Brands have always used words. But words haven’t always been (shall we say) at the top table when it comes to building brands. The visuals of a brand, the experience, and the brand product or service – these are what have always tended to receive the attention when shaping a brand. Words were always used more as fillers or after thoughts.
 
‘Just make it sound good’ – all too often being the advice given to a copywriter when brought in to write some brand copy. Thankfully, that is all changing. And it is a change that has even got itself a smart new name – to give this movement even more weight and prominence:
 
 
VERBAL DESIGN.
 
 
Let’s be honest, any type of discipline with the word ‘design’ in it, tends to do alright – design thinking, visual design, user experience design, we could go on. So the future looks good for Verbal Design. But there’s more to it than just a shiny new name.
 
 
 

Why Verbal Design?

 

1. There’s power in words

There’s no denying everyone loves visuals – you only need look at the explosion of Instagram for evidence of that. But within words is where true power lies. Words are what shape and change opinions, build friendships, and help us progress in our careers.
 
People that can exert great influence, are often able to do so through their ability with words. And brands know that they too can use this power, but only when verbal design is wholeheartedly adopted and embedded throughout all brand activities.
 
 
 

2. Words are everywhere

Quite simply, words are the only part of a brand that always remain on. Brands are always going to be saying something to you. And so it is important that the words being used are in line with the brand perception and personality, and the conversations the brand wants to be having with their audience.
 
Just think of the interactions you have with a brand digitally. You could be trying to navigate through certain steps of a procedure (your experience with this will of course also be down to the usability of the digital product) and it will be the words used that often help shape your brand experience.
 
There are so many places where words are needed, and brands have for too long approached it with a ‘just make it sound good’ approach. When if a Verbal Design approach was taken, the words used would help to create a far more compelling overall brand experience.
 
 
 

3. The influence of AI

It’s looking ever more likely that the interface of tomorrow will be the spoken word.
 
Siri, Alexa, Google Home – these are the sort of interfaces that we’ll be predominantly using to interact with brands through, in the not-so-distant future.
 
Therefore, it’s clear that brands will have to rely ever more on language and words for building and shaping their brand.
 
 
 

Conclusion

For quite a while now, all the talk has been on the growing importance of visual content (primarily video) for brands. Now don’t get us wrong, we’re in no way suggesting visual content is over-hyped, or undermining it. We’re visual storytellers, after all. However, we feel ‘words’ have in recent times, been somewhat neglected.
 
However, now is the time to focus on the role words play in shaping a brand. And hopefully in this post we have shown the reasons as to why.
 
Ultimately, Verbal Design looks set to only grow in importance, becoming a key part of the brand experience.
 
If you need any help in crafting the words for your brands touch-points, then we should certainly talk.
 
Until next time…
 
Rima
 
 

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