The batman

Don’t let up.

Don’t change your mind because the plan isn’t working.
Change the plan.
Don’t stop wearing a blue and yellow ribbon because it’s getting old.
Keep wearing blue and yellow because – because – this situation is getting old.

Keep watching the little words.
The little words tell big stories.

The batman

As The Guardian’s movie reviewer points out, it’s ‘The Batman’ (not just ‘Batman’).
This is meant to be the definitive Batman movie.
One word deployed to signal how ‘elemental and atavistic’ this version of the shadowy figure is meant to be.

So, why’s it not OK to talk about the war in the Ukraine?

Because ‘the Ukraine’ was how this nation was denominated by the Soviet Union.
Ukrainians would like us to call it Ukraine.
To recognise their self-determination.
I think I can manage that.
Along with Kyiv and not Kiev.

Small words tell big stories.

The least hard piece of work we’ll ever do defining a brand voice is defining these ‘Ground Level Details‘.
The words and phrases we do and don’t use.

The CEO of a British clothing brand insisted his stores weren’t ‘stores’ but ‘shops’.
Because ‘stores’ is an Americanism.
The American management team of a global British brand asked us if they should Americanize words with that -ize at the end?
Depends on whether you want to leverage your American presence or your British heritage.

Easy stuff.
If you don’t want to ask us to do it, here’s a suggestion.
Just use AP’s style guide.

Language shapes thinking. Always.
Shape the language and you shape the thinking.
Find the voice, and you find the heart.

In theory, my company should hate the existence of Grammarly.
Besides from not having that much hate in me, Grammarly’s resolute determination to refuse to label their temporarily relocated Ukrainian colleagues as ‘refugees’ retains their dignity and highlights their resilience.

I recommend checking out Grammarly.
Because getting grammar right is another important Ground Level Detail.

The big work is defining your brand voice.
Letting the personality of your business shine out in your language.
Finding your company’s voice.

If you’d like your company to find its heart by finding its voice, I recommend you read my book.
And if you’d rather give money to Ukraine than Jeff Bezos’ rocket, here’s an idea.
Email me for a copy.
I’ll send you a beautifully formatted pdf.
And whatever you want to pay for the book (RRP £11.27), I’ll pass onto the Red Cross.
Or you can ask me to send it direct to to the wife of a colleague who’s moved to the Ukrainian border to provide food and toys and clothes for people coming into Poland.

Thank you.

About Verbal Identity

We are writers, strategists and linguistics experts: super-specialists in the magic and mechanics of language. We know how language creates thinking. And how – if you shape the language of your company, your comms and your customers – you shape what people think and do, read more…

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