What are you hired for? What are you valued for? What are you retained for?
I know that we develop meaningful Verbal Identities for some of the greatest brands around, not just the Tone of Voice, but the whole conversation strategy.
I know that we have skills in brand strategy, commercial writing and culture; and where they all interlock.
We know that language influences behaviour. And that if you can influence the language you can influence the behaviour.
The most important thing I know, though, is that none of that means much to a person who doesn’t already understand what we do.
On a call today, I found myself with a satisfying way of describing all that we do, all that we believe in. It’s easy when you think about it from the other person’s point of view. Can you answer the three questions that will be in any potential client’s mind?
What would I actually pay these guys to fix? What does that mean for me today? And if it goes well, what could they do for me to add long-term value?
We’re hired as writers. The client is producing an average of 5,000 words a week. They know they don’t like them. They know they have commercial value (otherwise they wouldn’t be writing them). They want them better. That’s the problem we’re hired to fix.
I believe we’re valued for our understanding of how language influences culture. “Organisations are conversations” as it was described to me today on the call. But we add value by identifying and refining brand strategy into a form or narrative that means its accessible and motivating to everyone.
And finally, we can add value in the long term to make sure that what we’ve produced with the client does turn into desirable commercial behaviour, internally and externally.
Like the best things, it’s easy once you know how. It’s making it easy that’s tricky.