When writing in behalf of a company, whether you’re doing a sales letter, a promotional email or a newsletter article, you want to consider how to
properly incorporate the brand into the piece. We don’t mean spamming your own text by repeatedly inserting the name of the company or product you’re writing for. Instead, we’re talking about ensuring that the writing reflects the personality and image that the brand is pushing.
The brand identity is something companies invest heavily on. Everything from their logo to their advertising to their public relations are geared towards building up that identity. Truth be told, companies spend a huge lot of money establishing a certain image, so the least you can do is work to maintain it when you write anything in the company’s behalf.
For instance, you’re writing a promotional feature for a software company whose brand is marketed as fun, creative and playful. As such, you want to reflect the same in the voice, tone and overall style of your piece. You can’t write something that’s more somber than fun, as it will go against what fans of the brand have been familiar with. Similarly, it’s not a good idea to write in the tone of an older person advising someone younger. Even if the approach is valid for the subject matter, it’s likely to come across as condescending to a customer base who’s expecting “playful and fun.”
Pick a famous brand and you’ll see their image reflected in almost everything they do. While I’m not privy to Google’s internal marketing machinations, they’ve always struck me as a brand that’s smart and progressive. Everything they do seems to reflect the same, even the writing on their product blogs and releases. Look at a luxury brand, like one of those high-end watchmakers from Sweden, and you will see how their press releases and advertising are carefully crafted to suggest wealth and means, rather than practicality or comfort.
As a writer, it’s your job to conform to whatever needs the brand requires. If you’re working for a law firm who presents themselves as stern and no-nonsense, your copy must reflect that. Same when you find yourself working for a toymaker who thrives on curiosity and wonder. Before even planning what to do with your copy, you need to sort the brand out, as it will dictate a lot of what you can and cannot do in your writing.