I’m back with a new installment in my branding and copywriting article series. If you’re new to this blog, I invite you to first take a look over my introductory pieces on branding and copywriting so you’ll get accustomed to the basics.
At first glance, it’s hard to see the connection between the copywriter, the one who persuades people through words to take a certain action or choose a certain product or service and branding activities through which a common product is invested with the power of a brand, it becomes a complete experience defined through symbols, values and unique associations.
How does copywriting help build brand identity? Why would my business need a copywriter? Can a copywriter help me differentiate myself or position my brand on the market alongside my competitors? If so, how? These are just some of the questions I’m about to answer for you in the following minutes...
Branding and copywriting
„Brand” as a notion encompasses many aspects, from the total sum of the functional and emotional benefits of a product or service to the unique associations it creates in our mind and the values it upholds.
If there was no such thing as a brand identity, all we’d have would be products, mere goods meant for consumption. Imagine that, without the Lipton or Coca Cola logos, without the advertisements, symbols, feelings and perceptions that these brands generate in our minds, we wouldn’t give them the time of day. Even more, we wouldn’t be able to differentiate them from other tea or soft drinks distributors and we’d make random choices based on products only.
Why do we choose Coca Cola instead of another soft drink? Why do we buy BMW’s, as opposed to other cars? Why do we wear Chanel instead of another brand from the same category? Because these brands represent us, they boost our image, they are part of our lives, we either choose them strictly for economic reasons (price-to-quality ratio) or due to our emotional attachment to them.
The copywriter is the one who builds around all of these aspects. Many specialists wrongfully believe that the brand identity only encompasses distinct brand elements and symbols – e.g.: The Coca Cola logo and its defining symbols – the polar bears, the train etc.
However, a brand also has a personality, a voice, a slogan and a unique selling proposition. These are mainly built via the use of texts, through the manner in which a brand chooses to communicate, from direct advertising messages to the image they present in social media, brochures or other promotional and advertising materials.
Why would an already established brand or an emerging one need a copywriter? Why would a company, a product or a service?
The copywriter's role in building brand identity
The most obvious contribution of a copywriter is the slogan. I’m certain every reader of this article has at least one slogan in mind from a well-known brand. Here are some of the most famous ones:
- McDonald's – I’m lovin’ it
- Nokia – Connecting People
- Nike – Just Do It
- L’Oreal – Because You’re Worth It
- Apple – Think Different
Why is a slogan so important and why should a copywriter do it, instead of Ms. Geta from the third floor?
Think about it – the slogan is the first contact the consumer has with your brand, with what you offer and uphold, if we exclude all of the other visual elements and the product’s packaging. If an amateur is in charge of this very important part of building a brand, you’ll lose potential customers or create the wrong impression.
A good slogan should say who you are and why should potential customers choose you, a good slogan makes you occupy the place you want in the customer’s mind.
Moreover, a copywriter makes sure that a brand stays consistent. In other words, if you’re selling donuts, you should do it in the same way in all presentation prints, on your website, on Facebook, anywhere you choose to promote your donuts, you should respect the chosen voice of your brand and build an emotional connection to the consumer.
I have seen so many brands that fail to uphold this simple principle of consistency– they pose as ecology promoters, declaratively, but their product packaging is non-recyclable and they have partnerships with companies who are massive polluters or they support social causes (again, on a spoken level) but they don’t donate, or they use different manners of addressing their public – informal on Facebook and formal on their website etc.
Brand consistency is obtained, for the most part, through the contributions of a copywriter. He is the one who builds an authentic brand experience, he is the one who brings consumers closer to your brand, who speaks in their language, who manages to find a unique consumer problem that only your brand can answer.
Copywriters, the magicians behind a strong brand voice
You’re probably wondering – how do they do that? How do they manage to come up with a captivating slogan, an impressive story, bring consumers together, change perceptions, position a brand?
In my opinion, a good copywriter doesn’t lie, a good copywriter persuades.
A good copywriter makes sure that what the brand says about itself matches what the brand actually is.
The more consistent and well-positioned a brand is on the market, both in terms of message, voice and personality, the easier it is for it to get back on its feet after an unexpected PR crisis.
A copywriter, by himself, cannot build or tear down a brand, but he can save it from communication mistakes and can reclaim the support and approval of the target audience. PR specialists work on the same level, but a copywriter who built all relevant texts from scratch (the manner of communication, the brand voice) will have an insight an external PR agency can’t have.
Even more, the copywriter sees to the brand values being consistent with the client’s values, he makes sure that it’s not all for show. People identify what is fake right off the bat and they will only choose a brand they resonate with for the long haul.
People buy from a specific brand because there is compatibility between who they are as individuals and what that brand represents to them. It is a bit more complex than a compatibility with the product and product only.
What do I mean by that? It’s enough to look at brands such as Nike or Dove and we’ll see specific communities that have formed around them – the sports community or a community of women who uphold diversity in beauty. The values that Nike and Dove support create connection from that segment of the audience who has the same ideals and aspirations.
And the one who manages to target such audiences, bring them closer and increase the level of attachment to a brand is the copywriter, in most cases.
He is the creative genius behind the iconic „Just do it”, he is the one who urges Nike fans to take action, he is the one who makes you associate McDonalds with family (happy meal), he is the one who tells you to think differently, towards innovation and choose Apple, he is the one who uses storytelling or other creative means to make us connect to a brand beyond the product itself.
Another less discussed link between branding and copywriting relates to the copywriter’s role in building brand personality. Imagine that, just like people, brands also have a personality. Just like we are different from one another, a brand’s personality contains the unique features that differentiate it from another within the same category.
If Chanel was a person, it would most definitely be a stylish, elegant one who values quality, someone who is preoccupied with status, someone with a taste for the finer things in life, someone whose passions include fashion and grooming. Therefore, the brand attracts likeminded customers. And that’s just one example.
To conclude...why should I choose a copywriter for my brand?
- You’ll attract the customers you want and you’ll communicate in their language
- You’ll position yourself on the market and you’ll be one step ahead of the competition
- You’ll manage to bring your brand to life via the use of original slogans, a strong personality and a specific brand voice
- You’ll be consistent in your communication efforts and therefore you’ll gain the trust and goodwill of your clients
- You’ll persuade instead of lying or exaggerating, which will ensure more successful collaborations and partnerships
- You’ll promote yourself in a unique fashion
- You’ll build a strong presence on the market that won’t be easily threatened by PR crises
These are just some of the connections I found between branding and copywriting. I hope you found all of this info helpful.
If you have any other questions or thoughts to share, don’t hesitate to do so by posting a comment below!
Like what you read? Pass it on!