What is Verbal Identity?
Visuals are not the only part of the brand identity. There is also the verbal component, which in the narrowest sense of the word is the name of the brand itself, but it also concerns the overall marketing messages that the company conveys towards its target group. Therefore, verbal identity is all that your brand communicates through specific and carefully selected words and language style, used in a dialogue with your audience.
Here is an illustrative definition:
“Verbal Identity is a customized communications strategy that guides and defines how a brand tells its story in a consistent and compelling way. It uses language to express ideas and bring strategic thinking to life – from conveying personality through a distinct brand voice, to ensuring clear and consistent messaging throughout all key brand touchpoints.”
Why do you need a verbal identity?
When you are already investing time, effort and resources into creating a brand identity, you should definitely pay attention to aligning yourself with the verbal part of that identity; here is why. Specifically, if the verbal component is improperly rendered and not in harmony with the visuals, poor articulation of the message can send confusing signals and ultimately create a conflict in the brand experience. On the other hand, good branding and the right marketing message reinforce the overall impact of branding and form an integral part of a carefully planned brand strategy.
After all, your brand name is what will be with you and your business for many years to come, and it is very likely that it will be the only name of your company. Think of it as a companion to the logo, which together create “a launching station” for your brand, and from which all other brand elements evolve – even potential “sub-brands” that you might develop in the future.
Creating a verbal identity can help you in:
- Creating consistency and clarity in content creation across all your marketing and corporate communications
- Introducing your brand personality to communicate messages, including tone and voice, attitude, humour, etc.
- Making a clear distinction between your brand and competing products and services
How do you create a verbal identity?
As mentioned earlier, this is an integral part of the overall brand strategy. This means that it is also important here to research the market and study the profile of potential customers, define the business goals and plans of the company, determine the personality of the brand, and define a specific brand experience and emotional relationship with customers.
Without it, the verbal component would not have a real foundation, because the name of your brand depends on these elements, as well as the language style and brand tone and voice used. It needs to appeal to and align with your customers through advertisements, email marketing, content on the website, or in the sales brochure.
The basic elements of the verbal identity are:
- Brand name or naming
- Brand product / service category
- Brand slogan
… But it also includes:
- Brand voice
- Brand tone
- Brand story
- Brand grammar
Creating the right brand name that hits the mark with your potential customers is not a simple process. That’s why it’s important to get this part of your verbal identity right from the start, because it’s probably not going to change soon; maybe never. You can read more about brand naming here in our blog.
Defining the brand category and slogans are also techniques used to differentiate the brand from the crowd, as well as “speaking in your customers’ language”.
Verbal identity example
The easiest way to illustrate this is through an example we created for a specific restaurant in Dubai, characterized by a relaxed atmosphere, free dressing and five-star food. We called it Leen’s in the rebranding process.
Here’s why Leen’s:
- In the psychology of “people prefer to identify with people rather than brands”, we have selected restaurant owner Claudia Leenders as the central figure and shortened his last name to a more memorable version.
- From an audio point of view, the name Leen’s is reminiscent of the English word “lean”, which resonates well with the restaurant’s ideal health-conscious audience.
- Finally, Leen has a geographical value since it is an Arab female name, which means softness and gentleness – which is practically synonymous with the service and approach Leenders cherishes in his team – but also the lifestyle and wellbeing that is relatable to the target group.
As for the product category, we came up with the phrase “Casual to gourmet”, which also works as a restaurant slogan. Since the concept of this restaurant is completely new in relation to typical types of restaurants, we wanted to emphasize this and have actually defined a completely new category of restaurant.
Want to add character to your business?
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