What words do you use when you talk about your business? Are you a cutting-edge, innovative enterprise offering a seamless solution for today’s fast-paced business environment?
That would make you the same as every other business. Who are you? What do you stand for and how can you help me? How can I judge whether I’d like to work with you?
Words are all we have
If Stephen Fry is to be believed, how words connect writers and readers is a form of alchemy. Describing the intimate relationship between the writer and reader, two people who probably never meet, he says: “We are connected by a filament of language that stretches from somewhere inside my brain to somewhere inside yours.”
It’s through language, in the form of words, that we share what’s inside our heads with others. We use language to crystalise our thoughts, then convey them to our partners, family, friends, customers, staff, and suppliers. And we hope that the meaning they decode from our message matches what we intended.
Communication is a catalyst
Business and relationship gurus, from Dale Carnegie to Stephen Covey and Oprah Winfrey preach the power of communication. Clear, empathetic communication with staff, customers, partners, and kids, forms the basis for good relationships and businesses.
Communication provides the catalyst – the inspiration and motivation – for action. Understanding the company’s goals and values gives those who work there believe and a common vision for what they’re trying to achieve. Just think how Springbok coach, Rassie Erasmus built up a World Cup winning team with his direct and unconventional communication style. Think about situations you’ve been in where poor communication has scuttled projects that could have succeeded. It’s easy to underestimate the power of communication.
Take up the challenge
When you’re talking about your business, don’t cut and paste from elsewhere. Think deeply and challenge your team. Pay attention to what’s being said on social media. Play with words and use them to stimulate discussion and thinking.
Our language reflects our world. In instances where experiences are so unique, words are specifically created for that region. In his book, Hygge, Meik Wiking quotes examples of words unique to particular countries’ experiences. For example, in Namibia, the word HANYAUKU describes “walking on your toes on warm sand”. And the Inuit people in Northern Canada have a word for “the feeling of anticipation that leads you to look outside to see if anyone is coming.” – KTSUARPOK.
ABSA invented ‘Africanacity’ and MTN co-opted Ayoba as its own. What are the words, or word which best capture what your business is about?
We can help you
Communicating is our thing and we would love to help you to:
- Tell your brand story with authenticity.
- Create a relevant brand persona for a consistent voice across all your platforms.
- Give your website a copy refresh.
- Inspire your staff with a newsletter.
- Articulate your goals, vision and values in a way that inspires those who read it.
And with developing tech and software, there are more and more ways to get those words to those who need to hear them.