Meaningful Businesses Use Meaningful Language

meaningful language

As the cartoonist Hugh McLeod puts it, “I don’t get it: People who hope to be successful by offering the same crap as everybody else, who hope to be successful by offering the SAME LANGUAGE as everybody else.”

All too often, all the companies competing in a category use the same language to describe their products and the benefits they offer.

That is, until one company stands out and starts striving to matter to people by approaching them on a meaningful level.

A key part of our consulting service is providing clients with ways to behave in order to become more meaningful to people both inside and outside their business.

One of the elements of our brand strategy is the development of “brand voice”, that is, the story to be told and the way it should be told.

Though initially uncomfortable for clients, simple shifts in story and language can quickly differentiate their business’s offering.

Talking in a meaningful way means that they suddenly leave behind the pack of “me-too” products and services.

Our clients rise to a new level by reaching out in a way that is not only different, but more richly meaningful to people.


Because, the words revolve around the needs, desires, interests, and aspirations of people seeking to create meaning, in this, The Age of Meaning.

Meaningful Language

These words, phrases, and analogies touch people emotionally, leaving them feeling more understood, appreciated, and needed by the business.

For us, “Discourse” is one of the many ways to transform the way your business is experienced. We also look at “Aesthetics” (the look and feel), “Functionality” (what you ask people to do), and “Associations” (ideas, people, trends, etc. that can be used to complement and round out your story).

All these elements of the behavior are defined so they support, and bring to life, your business’s Purpose Beyond Profit (your business’s reason for being) and its Emotional Space (the way your business tries to make people feel).

Altogether, we provide our clients with a useful tool box. It is something that everyone in our client’s business can use to refine what they do, so as to better support the differentiating and appealing “why” of the business.

What is guiding your business to a new language that will differentiate your offering, make it meaningful to people, and get them to buy?

Or is everyone left to their own devices?

Emotive Brand is a San Francisco brand strategy firm

Comments (1)

  1. Great post, thanks. The way relevant and meaningful ideas are expressed is critical to standing-out and success. In any discourse the use of analogies and metaphors can bring a brand story to life with clearness, distinction and charm. The language can be active and have energy and still be simple and elegant. Writing is not a McDonald’s hamburger.

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