When businesses think about branding, they’re often thinking about visuals. Logos, photos, videos, and other types of visual media are important to a branding strategy.
Branding Consistency with a Word Wheel
But what about the linguistic aspect of branding?
Verbal and written branding complements your visuals, and just as you need to keep your visuals consistent, it’s crucial to keep the linguistic aspects of your brand consistent. When you achieve this, you’ll be able to present a clearer vision of what you offer, and how you offer it. Unfortunately, if you haven’t created a verbal/written component in your branding strategy, this consistency can be difficult to achieve.
To solve this problem, we’ve developed a tool that businesses can use to develop and implement the linguistic component of their branding more effectively. The “Word Wheel” is a visually-based tool used to manage your terms and descriptions. Using the Word Wheel, you’ll be able to ensure you’re delivering a consistent message to your audience at every opportunity.
Here’s an example of my word wheel:
HOW IT WORKS
- The innermost ring (four sections darker in colour) manages your verbs. Your verbs are a description of your foremost activities. If you’re a landscaper, you might use verbs like grow, install, build, and design. You want to choose simple verbs with positive connotations. A good place to start is looking in your current marketing and communications. Are there verbs you frequently use to describe the kind of work you do? You might easily find more than four, and will have to narrow it down to the most compelling.
- The second ring in the Word Wheel (darker, with eight sections) uses adjectives to describe the quality of your products and services. These should be specific (avoid general adjectives like “good” or “nice”). They should also demonstrate the qualities that make you unique or help you stand out from your competition. In the case of a landscaper, a few good choices would be lush, seasonal, appealing, and convenient.
- The outer ring of the Word Wheel (lightest in colour with 16 sections) is for outlining your product and service offerings. You can include generalized services like “gardening”, but there is also enough room to go more into detail, describing products like “patios” and “waterfalls”, or services like “seasonal maintenance” or “hedge trimming”.
The idea behind the Word Wheel is to create consistent phrasing for marketing materials like websites, social media, and blogs, without repeating exact phrases each and every time. It’s meant as a guideline to get business owners and marketers in the habit of describing their business in the best possible way, and according to the brand strategy. It can also create consistency in instances where there is more than a single person managing the brand, and in the verbal component of your brand (i.e. when you’re speaking to a potential client on the phone).
Eventually, you won’t need the visual reminder of the Word Wheel to use your branding language consistently, but until you do, use the Word Wheel as a guideline whenever you write an email, blog post, social media post, or any other branding opportunity.
Use this template to design your own Word Wheel!