The Power of Language


In an age where no one has time to read anything longer than 140 characters, magazines are now displayed in glass tablets rather than paper, and videos on YouTube or TED win get more attention that the NYTimes Bestseller list, it's refreshing to actually sit down and hold a book in your hands. It's even more refreshing when the books are all aboutthe power of words and language. Recently I finished reading two books that brought to life the incredible power of words to change the world and how we perceive it with profound implications for brands.

The first book - The Thee Laws of Performance - Introduces the concept of a “default future” and how every person, family, team and organization has one. It’s the future that is already written in our subconscious beliefs and the actions that spring forth from them. It then goes into explaining the power of declarative language to create an alternative future. It turns out words matter even more than we thought. A short 5 min video by the author Dave Logan is a quick introduction for those without time to read the whole thing (there we go again!)

The second book - The Answer to How is Yes - describes how we all begin life as “idealistic” artists – willing to try anything, unafraid to fail.  However, as we age and become more "wise" we lose that idealism and become more practical.  At that point when we begin to dream about something again – quitting our job and opening a restaurant, or writing a novel – the natural tendency is to ask “how?”  "How will make that work?"  "How will I survive?"  How becomes code for all the practical considerations that - while important – often kill the idealism and the dream.  So the author suggests the answer to “how” questions is simply to say “yes”.  Ultimately, if the dream or ideal is important enough we will FIND a way without killing the idea at birth.  As creative advocates this resonates with us deeply as it's very common to see great ideas shot down in the face of “practical considerations”.  Simply saying “yes” opens the door to finding a better way to address both the creative ideal and the practical consideration and undoubtedly yields a better result.   It's amazing what the simple word “yes” can accomplish and it's another great example of the power of language.

We’re mining the concepts in both of these books to help our clients understand that their marketing and identity have a default future too and how we can use powerful language to change that future and how prospects and clients perceive them. Ÿ


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