So what exactly is written identity?
It’s the combination of how you write and what you say.
For Regus and Second Home the 'what you say' is the same. They both rent out offices and co-working spaces. They both claim that working in their buildings will help you win new business.
They differ in how they write:
‘Work alongside like-minded professionals… foster collaboration and growth’ (Regus).
‘Here you’ll find members… eager to team up on projects’ (Second Home).
Second Home’s position as the new (ish) cool kid is reflected in its familiar language ‘eager’, ‘team up’. Creatives work here.
Regus is holding the corporate ground it occupied before the arrival of disrupter co-working spaces. It does this with the serious phrases ‘like-minded professionals’ and ‘foster collaboration’. Grown-ups choose these offices.
We call these language choices implicit cues. Both companies are explicit about what they offer; other companies to work with. But their choice of language implicitly positions them; ‘members’ rather than ‘like-minded professionals’ makes a statement about each organisation. The choices establish their identity in their writing.
How do you identify and apply your own written identity?
Decide what you want to say. Work out how to say it.
What you want to say are the claims you make as an organisation. These may already be in your mission statement, your vision, a messaging or positioning document, your tone-of-voice deck.
Second Home’s tag line, it’s main claim is: ‘Workspace as creative as you‘
Regus states: ‘Office space your way.’
Internally, underneath these statements they probably have details on how to reflect creativity or ‘your way’ in the language they use every day. It will show how to use language to position the brand on their website, in their newsletter to their communities, in presentations to prospects.
This is often where branding gets difficult. You can outsource your logo and tag line. But writing every day is down to you and your team. How can you decide how you are going to write beyond be concise and don’t use the passive?
We help organisations consider things like:
• Persuasion and reasoning styles. Not just what’s possible, but which style works best for your business?
• Your various audiences. Does your tone need to change between community and prospects? And if so, how?
• The impact of language choices. This isn’t about your pet peeves, but types of language and structure that suits your organisation.
The words you write should be as good as the work you do.
Having a clear written identity means the whole organisation can see how to put your brand values into their daily writing.
Have been working on your branding? Are you considering your company tone of voice? Is there a mismatch with your daily writing? Drop Kate a line. We can help you align your brand image and your written identity.