Myth 4: Keep it all formal and serious

Two statements:

  • We hereby welcome you to a most enjoyable social gathering to mark the commencement of business at our new enterprise.
  • Guess what? We’re in business and YOU are invited to party with us at the big launch bash. We hope you’ll join us for an evening that promises to be utterly spectacularly awesome. See you there!

Which one gets you excited for a party?

No brainer- the second statement!  The first one just doesn’t do it.

What’s the secret?

It’s the words used. Or, as we call it, the tone-of-voice.

Happiness, sadness, anger, fear, excitement, nervousness, calmness…. Every emotion has words that express that feeling and others to experience that emotion as well.

Words like ‘hereby’ and ‘commencement’ might be appropriate for an invitation a garden party at Buckingham Palace. But for a chilled party with a DJ and a fully stocked bar, you’d want your readers to sense that something fun is being planned.

But why does it matter?

Well, think back to when you were last tempted by a guilty pleasure (Don’t deny it; we all have one or two!). What about the last time you saw your favourite chocolate bar on sale?

Even if, eventually, you did overcome the temptation to pick it up, you had to get past the emotional appeal of it. Your first instinct was to buy that chocolate bar, even though you knew that it could affect your health in the long run.

As recent studies have shown, we tend to make decisions with our emotions. If something ‘feels’ good, most people will go for it, then rationalize that choice later when we feel guilty about it.

And that is what makes tone-of-voice so essential. With the right tone of voice, you can tap into the emotions that power the decision-making process.

Which tone is most suitable to your brand? That takes thought. But formal and serious is not (necessarily) the way to go. Don’t be afraid to think a bit differently!

Myth 5: It’s all about me and my product/service

Imagine yourself as a cake-lover (like me) who’s over-particular about eating healthily (unlike me!), and I as the local baker.

‘I bake the best cakes in town. I don’t use any unnatural ingredients. And I’ve won the Baker of the Year award for five years in a row.’

I bet you’re not convinced by that. Not in the slightest.

But why didn’t it speak to you? What was it missing?

Well, here’s the secret: The missing ingredient was…. YOU!

Yes, you heard correctly. It didn’t speak to you because it didn’t MENTION you. The word ‘you’ was omitted entirely. Instead, every sentence began with the word ‘I’. In that sentence, your desires and needs were unimportant. It was about my cakes and how deliciously healthy I think they were.

Now let’s change that a bit

‘Your health shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the best cakes in town. That’s why we’ve left out anything unnatural, so that you can experience the taste of an award-winning cake guilt-free!’

See the difference? There, you, the customer, were the main focus. You were the priority. So much so that you were referenced 3 times.

And ‘we’, the bakers, got no more than one mention.

Because ‘you’, the customer, are all that matters. You and the problem you face.

I, the business owner, am just there to solve that problem for you.