Why Should You Embrace Plain Language with Your Brand?

Why Should You Embrace Plain Language with Your Brand?

Why Should You Embrace Plain Language with Your Brand?

Plain language is a clear, concise, and easy-to-understand writing style that can benefit your brand in several ways.

1. Improved Communication

By using plain language, you can ensure that your brand's message is understood by your target audience. This can lead to improved communication, increased engagement, and stronger relationships with your customers.

2. Increased Trust

When your brand uses plain language, it shows that you are transparent and trustworthy. Customers are more likely to trust a brand that takes the time to explain things in a way that is easy to understand, rather than one that uses complex language or jargon.

3. Better User Experience

A plain language approach can make your brand's content, products, and services more user-friendly. This can lead to a better overall user experience and increased customer satisfaction.

4. Accessibility

Plain language can make your brand more accessible to a wider range of people, including those with limited English proficiency, individuals with disabilities, and older adults.

5. Increased Engagement

By using plain language, you can increase customer engagement and foster a more positive brand image. Customers are more likely to share and recommend a brand that uses clear and simple language, rather than one that uses complex language or jargon.

It’s harder to be plain than it is to be fancy. 

To be plain, you need to know exactly the heart of what you’re trying to say, because you’re not letting yourself hide behind clever words. Later on, when you write a copy, you can make your language sound pretty. But at this point, when you’re defining your brand, when you’re setting the strategic direction, keep your language plain and unadorned to help you make sure that the idea is right.

Sometimes my teenage kids will ask me to read a paper they’re trying to write for school. And sometimes I come across a paragraph or a sentence that is jammed with words or clauses whose meaning I just don’t understand.

I put the paper aside and ask, “What exactly do you mean here? If you were trying to explain this to your 7-year-old cousin – how would you put it? How would you say it?”

This is the moment where they blanche and they admit that they don’t know what they’re trying to say. That’s why they stuffed it with words and clauses. We both take a step back and get really honest about what is the meaning to convey. Only then can clarifying sentences emerge.

The problem wasn’t writing the essay. The problem was getting to the root of what they were trying to say. Once they stepped away from writing the essay, they could discern what is the meaning that they want to get across.

That is the real work, and it takes some courage and some grit. It takes a willingness to not hide.

The same thing happens when we are crafting our brand strategy. We sometimes jump too quickly to the clever words we want to use, rather than taking the time and the energy to identify the most potent meaning that we want those words to convey.

We try to make it sound pretty too soon and skip the part where you pinpoint what is the meaning that we want the audience to take away.

If you don’t do the hard work of pinpointing what meaning you want your audience to take away, how can you expect them to do the hard work that you didn’t want to do?

When you create your brand strategy – do you fall prey to getting enchanted by clever words rather than examining first the meaning you want your words to convey?

Remember, before you get fancy, get plain. Pinpoint the meaning you want your business to stand for before you put it into beautiful language.

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Lindsay Pedersen

Brand Strategy Expert

Lindsay is a Brand Strategist and Founder of Ironclad Brand Strategy, which builds brands using an exacting and analytic method. Her background as a P&L owner at Clorox fostered a deep appreciation for the executive charge: to create sustainable value. Ironclad advises companies from burgeoning startups to national corporations, including Zulily, IMDb, T-Mobile and Starbucks. Lindsay holds an MBA in Business from the University of California Berkeley, Haas School of Business.




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