The Most Powerful Marketing Words for Your Business

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter–it’s the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”   –Mark Twain You know how difficult it is to find exactly the right terminology. Even Mark Twain knew over a century ago that  just the right words make all the difference. While marketing your business and brand, terminology can make a crucial difference in customer perception of who you are.  Several brands have changed their names so that your impression of them would shift.  Did they succeed?

  • The Shack vs. Radio Shack
  • Starbucks vs. Starbucks Coffee
  • Altrea vs. Phillip Morris
  • Xe Services vs. Blackwater Worldwide

This week’s Advertising Age magazine had an article that attributes the record-breaking Black Friday weekend retail sales not to price-cutting, but landing on the right marketing message.  It seems that consumers expect stores to have the lowest prices.  Now it’s about permission to buy, finely crafted into tag lines.  So once again, the right message with the right attitude drove record retail sales.  Are there secret words that convince someone to open their pocketbooks now and throughout the year? When I researched the most powerful words in the English language, they read like those lists of “Everything I needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”  The “Seven Most Powerful Words” according to one website are:

  • Yes
  • No
  • Please
  • Thanks
  • Help
  • Stop
  • Sorry

I think many of us learned those words before kindergarden. Then I looked at a Yale study that defined the “10 Most Powerful Words” that motivate people.  This list has been widely circulated for advertising, marketing and sales applications.  This list starts with:

  • You and continues with
  • Results
  • Health
  • Guarantee
  • Discover
  • Love
  • Proven
  • Safety
  • Save
  • New

This list gets a little closer to choosing the right category of words that we as marketers should be focused on as we craft key messages for our brands and product lines.  The blog Copyblogger brought me a little closer to what I think should be our focus as marketing/communications professionals.  In a blog posted a couple years ago, Brian Clark claimed that there were two important words for blogging: You and Because.  You can read his article by clicking here:  The Two Most Important Words in Blogging. It’s obvious if we think about it that “you” appeals to the reader.  So many Brand Teams forget that a company-centric view of their product is chest-puffing.  The consumer doesn’t want to know why the company thinks its products or services are so special or differentiated, they want to know the WIFM: What’s In It For ME? The “because” word in blogging, and in marketing in general, is the part that answers the WIFM question.  “Because” terminology gives the customer the reasons the product solves his/her problem. If you remember only one thing from this article, it’s to market your brand from the point-of-view of the consumer.  Figure out the consumer problem, then address your target audience with your brand’s solution. And never forget that the right verbiage is always in the second person: You.   Photo Credit: The Mark Twain House & Museum

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