THINKING_words_620I’m leafing through your organisation’s brand guidelines. Logo. Check. Exclusion zone. Mono version. Uh huh. Colour palette. Wow, not my choice but I see where you were coming from. Graphic devices. Photography. Illustration. All good.

Hang on. Something’s missing. Where are the words? I’m on page 54 and there’s still no mention.

You know, words. Like the ones you’re reading now.

The ones that tell your story.

The ones that only you use.

The ones that make people feel something. (Or not).

Those things Shakespeare was so good at.

The ones that organisations like Innocent, First Direct and Macmillan have built really effective, valuable identities around.

Identity isn’t just visual identity. It’s what you say, not just how you look. And verbal identity is more important than ever in a world that’s increasingly about text messages and email, instant messaging and tweets (and less about great big posters).  It’s one reason why LIA (the London International Awards) has just introduced a Verbal Identity category, in part due to pressure from branding agencies.

Words matter. Verbal identity matters; from your name, down to the notes your staff leave on the fridge. It’s a valuable asset, and one that almost every member of staff needs to understand, because they almost all speak on your behalf.

You’ve just read this all the way to the end. Apparently words do matter. That’s why it’s my mission to make sure they get a look-in in every brand that matters.

Thanks for reading.


(Ah, here we go. Page 68. OK. Apparently when you write you should be really engaging and keep things simple. Oh.)