Yes folks, this week it's Speak Cornish Week. Unlike International Speak Like a Pirate Week (where all that's required is to throw in a few aaarrrrs and aayyys and swallow a load of gravel before speaking - fun if you can keep it up) this is about celebrating a real language that is rarely spoken these days.
As an incomer I claim no Cornish ancestry (although I hope one day to be able to claim Cornish grandchildren) but I value very highly the strong and proud heritage of Cornwall and delight in the fact that we have our own language.
So it got me thinking about language in general and its importance in marketing.
People often spend a lot of time and vast amounts of money on design, logos, branding and imagery (and believe me, I'm happy for them to do so, see my other blogs) but do they, I wonder, spend as much time and money crafting the language they use?
But language is one of the best ways of demonstrating the DNA of a business. While a great identity is a fabulous shortcut to telling customers what to expect from a company, the language that's used is vital in cementing that expectation and beginning the relationship with the customer.
After all, if you are selling industrial pumping gear to highly technically-minded engineers, you need to ensure your language reflects your product and speaks to them in their own voice. Let me give you an example:
Miscellaneous Fabrications Ltd sells industrial pumps to the water industry. Its high quality pumps are specified by lead engineers responsible for £1 million+ installations. This is an excerpt from its sales brochure.
"Our pumps are just amazing! The way we make them is totally fabulous and we have ingenious new ways to make our pumps the best in the world!"
Okay so this is laying it on a bit thick and, by the way, any resemblance to any company living or dead is entirely accidental, but you get the idea.
If on the other hand you were using similar language to sell make-up to teens, you might be on to something.
While I'm not suggesting that any self-respecting manufacturer would use the language above, the more subtle nuances might be missed. Really thinking about the words you use when you are trying to convey, for example, a sense of quality, durability and reliability is important. Words like: "rely on" "built to last" "Rolls Royce-quality" "strength" "solidity" will make a difference. Sentence structure and grammar are a part of this too. Short sentences with lots of exclamation marks do not make one think of quality, durability and reliability; but neither do you want your speech to plod along or bore your reader. It's about being precise: saying what you mean and meaning what you say.
On that note, da yw genev precise language. Farwell until next week.