The writer’s job starts with brand definition

Let’s hope that John Allert’s prediction is right. Perhaps ‘2007 will be the year of words used wisely’.

He’s in a good position to influence this, as he heads Interbrand. The big consultancies have a lot to answer for, because so often they use such clunky words to define brands, and they squeeze them into brand models with geometric shapes, as if lacking confidence in the words themselves.

Such lack of confidence can be explained when words emerge from a ‘strategic process’ involving a brand management committee. All that’s lacking is a little craftsmanship, and that little can be everything when it comes to the brand’s success or failure.

If the brand definition is short of wit and inspiration, the brand’s language will be too. The writer’s job needs to start with the definition, not with the final execution.

John mentions Innocent as an example. The reality is that Innocent crafts all its words, internal and external. And, interestingly, its own brand values and definitions – but it uses words that have real meaning to the people working in Innocent. That’s the lesson to be learnt, rather than the lazy brief that asks, ‘Write it like Innocent’.

John Simmons, Director, The Writer, London SE1

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