RIP Grammar. Hello Micro-Speak!
Is it just me or does it seem that people are using technology to communicate way more but are actually saying way less?
Back in the early days of email, I would receive dozens of messages a day that included quaint notions like a salutation, proper grammar, sentence structure, paragraph breaks, and punctuation.
You know, like a letter, but electronic.
Cut-to-today where, even in business, people open with “hey!,” followed by sort-of-sentences except words are cryptically abbreviated, punctuation is optional, and there is commonly no closing.
I recently sent a client a thoughtful, multi-paragraph email and strategic recommendation only to receive a response in the form of a text with a “thumbs-up” icon. That’s all he wrote. Kind of.
Befuddled, I fought it at first. Finally, I caved to micro-speak and now advise clients to do the same.
The fact is that people don’t read anymore, have zero appetite for long paragraphs full of marketing jargon, and seek to learn about new products and services in bite-sized nuggets.
With the advent of Twitter, marketing professionals would strive to get their brand story down to a Tweet. Today, reading even 140 characters seems too much to ask, so now it’s got to be no longer than a hashtag.
Or at least fit on the visor of a baseball-style cap.
To get to that perfect hashtag, a company must find its authentic “one-or-two word” association and use it as a platform. Impossible? Don’t tell Volvo that owns “safety,” Disney, that owns “family,” or Harley Davidson, that owns “freedom.”
Discovering that one-or-two word association is not a creative exercise; it’s a strategic one.
However, once a company goes through the process of finding that authentic, compelling, and somewhat aspirational word-or-two, it can (re)engage current stakeholders, attract new ones, and own a distinct place in its market space.
What one-or-two words does your brand own?