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The Words We Choose

January 20, 20242 min read

Our ancient ancestors believed secret words held supernatural power to alter reality.

In some ways, they were right. 

The words you choose to describe what you do, what your brand stands for, and who you serve matter more than your business cards, logo, or website design. They will position you in the minds of your audience for good or ill, and they will determine your success.

A small number of words can make all the difference.

Here are two contrasting examples.

In 2023, Dylan Mulvaney released a 48-second video describing his partnership with Bud Light. The ensuing backlash to Bud Light cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars in sales, its #1 spot as the best-selling beer in America, and billions of dollars in market share.

It took Bud Light decades to become the #1 beer in America and only 48 seconds to lose it.

In contrast, in 2013 Dodge released a 2 minute super bowl commercial for its Ram Truck line featuring radio personality, Paul Harvey. What has become known as the God Made a Farmer commercial drove a 15% increase in quarterly sales, and the company finished the year up more than $10 billion dollars from the previous year.

A few hundred words spoken in less than three minutes drove billions of dollars in market behavior. 

Words evoke emotional responses. 

How do you choose the right words?

First, get to know and love your audience. The more you understand them, the easier it will be to connect with an authentic and meaningful message. In subsequent interviews after the Dylan Mulvaney fiasco, Alissa Heinerscheid, the vice president of marketing in charge of the campaign, made it clear she disdained Bud Light’s current customers. 

Second, think deeply about how your audience will feel about your words and choose them carefully. There are more than 25 emotions and a dozen primal urges, make sure you have a deep understanding of them. The Dodge team that produced the God Made a Farmer commercial understood the power of evoking nostalgia and reverence in their audience.

Third, ensure your words are precise and your words are familiar to your audience. Don’t speak like a physicist lecturing graduate students if your audience is fifth graders. (See the first recommendation)

Words may not have mystical abilities, but they certainly have the power to drive your brand forward.

Until Next Week!

Custom HTML/CSS/JAVASCRIPT
marketingentrepreneurship

Anthony Butler

Back to Blog
blog image

The Words We Choose

January 20, 20242 min read

Our ancient ancestors believed secret words held supernatural power to alter reality.

In some ways, they were right. 

The words you choose to describe what you do, what your brand stands for, and who you serve matter more than your business cards, logo, or website design. They will position you in the minds of your audience for good or ill, and they will determine your success.

A small number of words can make all the difference.

Here are two contrasting examples.

In 2023, Dylan Mulvaney released a 48-second video describing his partnership with Bud Light. The ensuing backlash to Bud Light cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars in sales, its #1 spot as the best-selling beer in America, and billions of dollars in market share.

It took Bud Light decades to become the #1 beer in America and only 48 seconds to lose it.

In contrast, in 2013 Dodge released a 2 minute super bowl commercial for its Ram Truck line featuring radio personality, Paul Harvey. What has become known as the God Made a Farmer commercial drove a 15% increase in quarterly sales, and the company finished the year up more than $10 billion dollars from the previous year.

A few hundred words spoken in less than three minutes drove billions of dollars in market behavior. 

Words evoke emotional responses. 

How do you choose the right words?

First, get to know and love your audience. The more you understand them, the easier it will be to connect with an authentic and meaningful message. In subsequent interviews after the Dylan Mulvaney fiasco, Alissa Heinerscheid, the vice president of marketing in charge of the campaign, made it clear she disdained Bud Light’s current customers. 

Second, think deeply about how your audience will feel about your words and choose them carefully. There are more than 25 emotions and a dozen primal urges, make sure you have a deep understanding of them. The Dodge team that produced the God Made a Farmer commercial understood the power of evoking nostalgia and reverence in their audience.

Third, ensure your words are precise and your words are familiar to your audience. Don’t speak like a physicist lecturing graduate students if your audience is fifth graders. (See the first recommendation)

Words may not have mystical abilities, but they certainly have the power to drive your brand forward.

Until Next Week!

Custom HTML/CSS/JAVASCRIPT
marketingentrepreneurship

Anthony Butler

Back to Blog