Twitter

The Taylah Swift Method of Brand Domination

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Branding, Business, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Customer Personas, Guest Posts & Interviews, Marketing, Messaging, Stories | 0 comments

She’s a branding superstar … dressed as a popstar.   Why? Well it’s hard not to notice the impossibly perfect red lipstick. Then comes the obvious talent and fashionista looks.   But it’s the loyal relationship she’s built with her fans, that makes her a brilliant businesswoman.     Yes, we’re talking Taylor Swift. And it’s all true. Her bigheartedness and obsession with surprising her fans – the Swifties – is in large part responsible for her swift (pardon the pun) path to world domination. At just 25 years old, she helms a brand more profitable than most companies: she earned $64 million in 2014 – with her album, 1989, selling 1.287 million copies in its first week and bringing in more than $7 million in sales and counting. Any business would be envious of those numbers, and there’s more. A single post on Instagram clocked 670,000 likes in under seven hours, and...

Give me your handbag – and I’ll find your story secrets

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Stories | 8 comments

A handbag (or manbag) is the ultimate private space.   And that makes it juicy territory for story hunting.     What’s in your bag right now? What stories does it hold, hide or hint at? Are there secrets lurking at the bottom … along with the bobby pins, scraps of paper and long forgotten flotsam and jetsam?   Will it unravel you? Leave me (or any curious person, really) alone with your bag for an hour and it’s incredible what I can say about you. It’s not the obvious – phone, tissues or money that says much. Look at the small everyday objects. They hold great power in revealing your personality.   What story secrets will your handbag tell me? Share it … in the comments   Photo credit: Evil Erin via photopin c Get blog updates & newsletters Get blog posts as soon as they’re posted and fortnightly newsletters on how to write meaningful...

4 little known people who affect your writing

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Branding, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Editing, Stories | 0 comments

People leave scars on you.   Some are painful, deep and lasting. Others are less so and polish out over time.     My fourth grade teacher left one that’s stayed with me, but thankfully did no lasting damage. Yes, she commented on my writing. Mrs Williamson (AKA the she-devil-of-the-time), took a dislike to my writing. Her vitriol began, “It’s too mature” and what followed was as bitter and burning as the acid of the same name. My parents reeled at the injury. I on the other hand, typically worked harder at raising her rancour. Hours were spent toiling (in pre-computer, but not quite slate and chalk times) to perfect both my style (handwriting) and substance (content). And with enough practise, comes mastery. It worked a treat. We parted ways at the end of Grade Four as hated enemies; both marked by the battle of wills. Thinking back, there are many people you could...

Spellbinding words written to the farmer in us all

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Branding, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Marketing, Stories | 3 comments

It’s rare that your breath’s taken away these days.   Very rare indeed. You harden up fast. Few things crack the shell.     But not last week. For two spellbinding minutes I was breathless. Captivated and touched. By words written, narrated and pictorialised, to almost perfection. They told the story of the farmer, to the farmer in us all.   I challenge you … to not be moved as well. [If you can’t see the video player, try viewing it here.]   Now … that is brand storytelling. Paul Harvey’s “God Made a Farmer” speech (originally delivered in 1978) has been transformed by Dodge RAM into a collective call-to-action to admire and respect the unsung hero, the farmer. Tireless stewards of the land, the farmers’ selfless, foundational role in a country’s character is oft taken for granted. The adverts timbre, folksy feel and heartfelt appeal captivated hearts...

Shirtsleeve English: copywriting that rolls down the page

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Content Marketing, Copywriting | 2 comments

Some words are ear words [best heard], while others are eye words [best seen].     Copywriting that is compelling and conversational melds the two frontiers of ear and eye; having been written to persuade, motivate and impassion. It creates a relationship or bond, and the more connected you feel, the more likely you’ll collect around the storyline. The words used in shirtsleeve English – written as you would speak – are the exact ones that create connection and rapport. Using contractions, sentence fragments and informal language makes the writing more relatable, builds a natural affinity and engages you. And engaged readers build communities around each other and spread the word. So if you want your words to creep and your reader’s eyes to roll down the page, use shirtsleeve English.   Have you rolled up your sleeves before you started writing? Leave your thoughts...

Baking your daily bread: with a promise

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Branding, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Stories | 2 comments

It’s the simple things in life.   Walking in the rain, eating fairy bread and crunching autumn leaves under your feet. They’re the things that can make your day and colour your memories.   And of course you know that bakery air is #909 on the list of 1000 Awesome Things … don’t you? Because any time, any day, who can resist the powerful smell of fresh bread. Right? It’s the human equivalent of kryptonite. As the one weakness of an otherwise invulnerable hero-race [us], bread has: supposedly sparked revolutions, is symbolically significant, was oft used historically as a form of currency and barter, people were transported to an isolated island ‘down under’ for stealing a loaf, it’s used as a metaphor for prosperity and significant innovations are still tagged “the best thing since sliced bread.” Fresh baked bread is said to be one of the most universally loved smells on the...

Editing clips: Ellipsis

By in Brand Tone of Voice, Content Marketing, Copywriting, Editing | 2 comments

Meet three important dots: the ellipsis points. They’re the three dots you see in a few different places – part way through a sentence, in the middle of a sentence … or sometimes at the end like this …   Why? In a quote, they usually indicate the omission of words. This is usually done when the quote is too long or contains irrelevant information (to the main point of citing the quote) and you replace the omitted words with ellipsis points. Less formally, they’re also used to indicate a mid-sentence pause, an incomplete sentence, fragmented thoughts or speech, or as a cliff-hanger at the end of a sentence.   Amount? The correct number of dots is three. Only ever three. Two looks like you’ve double dotted your full stops and four just looks weird.   How? There’s usually a space either side of the ellipsis points … and when they’re at the end of a sentence, you don’t...