Sound out & be counted: 2 must-do tactics to use tone and vocab to make your brand stand out

When you market your product, one underlying goal is setting it apart. That can be tough, especially when it’s the same service as the rest of the pack. But even then, you’re going to argue that your service is better. 

But there’s also a stylistic option – well, a stylistic need – that’s part of the presentation. 

Namely, your product will stand out when the way you write about it stands out. I chose my words carefully – and you should, too.

Standing out in a crowd 

The Tower of Overused Verbiage (a work in progress) [credit: Gedalyah Reback via]
The Tower of Overused Verbiage (a work in progress) [credit: Gedalyah Reback via]

This article mostly applies to tech startups, not multi-billion-dollar corporations. By extension, most of that writing or content is going to be PRs, blogs, white papers, videos, product pages, etc.

This is where your serious leads are going to absorb as much about you as they can, as quickly as they can. Yada yada. 

Of course, you can get the crowd to tell you and rivals apart in other ways. Before continuing, remember there’s more than one reason to distinguish yourself from competitors. Let’s focus on two.

1. Numero Uno, as we mentioned, is to show you’re better.  Yours is the best choice. Your product is the way to go.

2. Nummer Zwei, is to be noticed. The easier it is for someone to remember you, the more likely you are to get picked.

These are two different things. For the purposes of this article, I want you to forget things like, “Oh, those overlap,” or “They are kind of the same thing.” You can stand out and not actually be the undisputed champion of your field.

Sounding different 

The plainest place to parlay your new vocabulary strategy is in a press release. This is where most of a company’s excessive parlance appears. So let’s clean up the clichés, shall we?

Jettison the jargon

The first thing to do is to eliminate as much typical marketing jargon as possible. 

Don’t talk about your product “enabling” or “empowering” developers or teams or, engineers, etc. Don’t say your product is “the end-to-end solution” on the market for DevOps/Big Data/SOCs, etc. And for the love of all things sacred, never ever describe your company as “the” one solution for something.

You immediately breathe fresh air into the reader. Hell, even the marketing manager who might have had to approve the edit that inserted these generic pieces of vocabulary will be able to read it better.

Once you use dry or repetitive language, it disengages the reader. Keep in mind that “repetitive” has to include what else the reader is consuming. If someone is reading one press release today, there is a great chance they are reading others. With that, throw out the ad nauseum language as much as you can to keep the reader engaged longer. 

Quip up the quotes

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Be witty when it’s in your name. Your CXO quote can’t be generic. You have a value prop and messaging, sure, but that’s not what your words are meant to convey. This is a chance to associate literal personality with your brand. Just like you don’t want a job candidate rehashing what you read on their resume, the reader wants to know who is talking to them.

Say something new. I tend to recommend an actual personal reflection or insight about your niche of the industry. When more than one person is quoted, you can do both.

Since you already mentioned the new product or service or feature or funding round. Don’t be lofty, generic, or redundant. If you have the reader’s attention this late in a press release, give them something special.

And make it juicy. You don’t have to start a Twitter war, but don’t be afraid to be a little assertive. Consider this example I just wrote for a hypothetical funding announcement:

“We rejected investors that simply didn’t understand the tech well enough. That’s why we went with ABCXYZ Ventures – they did the homework and can help us succeed. They get it. They’re not just padding their portfolios.”

A finishing touch

Sprinkle something on top for the end. Conclusions suck, but they don’t have to. The most generic piece of content can separate itself from the pack by tossing even the smallest of bones to the reader. 

Add in a dash more of wit, another insight, or a unique opinion about your corner of the tech world (this goes for other industries, too).  

Look, using a different tone will get your words to flow more easily through the ear canal. 

You are more to the point and your brand actually has a personality. Your brand’s identity, better yet your own identity, shapes the reader’s immediate impression of what your logo represents.

You still have to justify the verbal cargo going down there. 

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