“To Speak is to Seek Understanding.”
We dont really hear anyone using ‘Stand the gaff’, ‘By hook or crook’, ‘In apple pie order’ or other much loved phrases which were part of everyday conversations in the 1800 and early 1900’s. Only place these exist now are history books, movies (to stay true to the time period.)
If marketing was personified the skeleton would be communication. Spoken and unspoken language plays an important role in getting the message across to target audiences. For example, Ford might have used a Lincoln quote about honesty to build trust in its cars. Today a tax service might visually show Moviegating with a text overlay that says “we dont do this.” to convey the same idea of honor.
Some will argue that phrases transcend time, this is true for a very small minority of quotes. Also this type of immortality comes with a price. Phrases that are well known are also very frequently heard (refer to Spongebob and message recall) which dilutes the associations a potential consumer will make with that phrase. There are ways to introduce the old and own it (Target – My favorite things campaign) but seldom is the expense justified in such a cause.
The trick is to take a clever or even and interesting phrase associate them with a trigger and then spread it like wildfire. This is what the my favorite things and Target association is for me.
Marketing Lesson: It is important to speak the same language as the target, be it jargon or culture. It is more important to speak the same phrases as the target market, for this is a language in its own. In the fast paced and completely information overloaded market a potential consumer does not have time or the inclination to absorb a paragraph or even a couple of lines. This is where phrases and pictures (more on that soon, promise) become vitally important.
Until next time,