One Brand, One Brand Voice - How to Align Everyone in your Company with the One Brand Voice

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In this episode, we discuss having one brand voice with Chris West, the founder of Verbal Identity. 

Show Notes

Chris is a specialist in helping brand leaders align their teams in one voice. He is also the author of Strong Language, the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in Language Communication. 

 We tackle the importance of having a great language and how this could create differentiation for brands. As we go through the podcast, we explore:

 - The power of language

- Three levels of language

- Having one brand voice for early-stage businesses

- Visual attracts, verbals engage

- Aligning everyone in a company with a one brand voice

- How brand message resonates


Linkedin: Chris West
Strong Language

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Shireen: Hello, and welcome to Brand Tuned, a podcast for people like you, marketers, designers and founders looking to build a great brand that's differentiated and distinctive. It's hosted by me, Shireen Smith, intellectual property lawyer, and marketer.

Hi, I'm Shireen and my guest today on the branching podcast is Chris West, the founder of Verbal Identity. Specialist in helping brand leaders align their team in one voice. His clients include the biggest names such as Alphabet and General Motors, as well as startups in data science, FinTech and Beauty. And some famous UK names, including John Lewis, Mulberry, Vauxhall. At the core of his work is getting the writers in a company to use one brand voice. His company has developed a simple, memorable framework that does just that inspiring and aligning writers rather than having them in with more rules. The framework is included in his recent number one best-selling book, Strong Language.

I'm delighted that Chris will be delivering a 10 minute masterclass for us on One Brand, One Brand Voice - How to Align Everyone in your Company with a One Brand Voice. So welcome to the brand tune podcast. Chris.

Chris: Thank you very much. Thank you for having me.

Shireen: Great. So let's, do you want to share your screen to share to do this masterclass?

Chris: Absolutely. So I'll share my screen now. And I'll start sharing with rather an odd image. There's a story behind this. A lot of people in the design world, in the professional services world, they're very aware, of course of how important it is to control the visual identity of their brand. Making sure that wherever their brand turns up, whichever channel whichever format, it looks consistent, recognizable. And that visual identity in some way, creates differentiation, creates value. And what I'm particularly interested in and what my business firm identity specializes in, is helping brand owners and designers create that differentiation, create that value through language. And so that's why I love starting with this example of two kinds of oat milk. Shall I dive in and start talking about that?

Shireen: Yeah. Looks very interesting.

The Power of Language

Chris: Well, that's very kind of you. So, if like me, you're one of those dairy Dodgers and I don't know, if you are Shireen, but you know, increasing number of people seem to be not having milk in their morning coffee, not having milk, in their cereal or whatever. And so those a lot of people are turning to oat milk. Now, I can say is no drinker, I've never been able to tell it taste the difference between one brand of oat milk and another brand of oat milk, and probably no surprise, because oat milk is really just oats in water. So oats in water versus oats in water, who's ever going to be able to tell the difference? Now, what's interesting for me and why I love this example so much is that there are two quite well known brands of oat milk. And as I say that both oats and water not Are they both, you know the same taste to me, I'm sure some people can taste the difference. But not only are they both tasting the same to me, they're sold in exactly the same packaging. These tetra packs, and they're distributed through exactly the same channels. So in many ways why would one be valued on better love than the other? And Rude Health, few years ago, quite recently actually got a valuation for their company, which was around about 70 million. That's great actually for oats in water. And the way they talked on their, on their packaging about their brand was to talk about Rude Health is when you do yoga and climb trees and very in some ways, obviously the things around health, okay. But what I find super interesting is the valuation that was put on opening, which is the other major brand of oat milk that I see. And which I'm actually a huge fan of. Now, as I say it's out some water like Rude Health, and Oatly in the same packaging as Rude Health. And they're sold, you know, shoulder to shoulder in the Chilean cabinet at my local supermarket. So really, you would expect them to have the same kind of valuation? And the question I often ask when I do a workshop in a company or in an agency is so what do you think the valuation of only was when they were IPO on the New York Stock Exchange? Do you think as a relatively new younger challenger to Rudolph, they would perhaps be have evaluated a valuation less than retail? So normal to let's say, 100 million, you know, maybe maybe the same? Or do you think perhaps he could have created a slightly higher valuation? Well, here's the amazing thing for me and for a lot of people, which is oats in water versus oats in water, same packaging, same distribution, the only real difference that people were noticing and commenting on was the language on the packaging. And Oatly when it was valued when it was IPO, it wasn't in the region of naught 70 million to 100 million, its valuation was actually quite a stunning 13 billion for oats and water sold in the same packaging disputed through the same channels. And so I love showing this example. Because if you can't taste the difference, and if you if one isn't more accessible than the other, it's the language which is making the difference language is huge and valuable. Language is valuable when it creates a difference for our brand and when it's consistent. And that's what I think an increasing number of designers, company founders are discovering with, or they're coming to this conclusion as well, which is when you have more channels than anyone's ever had before. And language is so prominent in those channels. And of course, you have clients and consumers who really wants to actually be in a dialogue with brands they love. You have to have great language, you have to be able to talk to them as your brand consistent and with differentiation. That's the wonderful thing that's happening in language at the moment. So then the question is really, for a lot of designers for a lot of agency owners, a lot of business founders is how can I brief the writers better? How can I encourage creativity and when it comes to the work? How can I judge it better? There are three interrelated challenges, how how to improve the briefing, the creativity, and the judging of copywriting.

Three Levels of Language

Now, the example is after doing a workshop in which we're doing this mini workshop now about how language works, and how you can agree a framework, with your clients, with your agency with your copywriting teams, really comes down to this idea that language works in a very subtle way. And we're all tuned to it because we're a language animal. And actually, once you understand how language is working, then suddenly it makes the briefing and the creativity and the judging of work a lot easier. So the example I love to show is Ferrari versus Mini. Now I'm not I must admit, I'm sure you don't know if you are I'm not a car nut. So But even so, I can tell the difference between a Ferrari in a Mini. And I think many if not most people could tell the difference between a Mini and a Ferrari just by looking at them. And actually, even by their sound, you know, for Ferrari goes past one way and a Mini goes past the other way. It's not just the visual identity of Mini and Ferrari that's being carefully controlled. It's a sound and it's everything. So the question then is have Mini and Ferrari, really pay the same attention to their language so that you can immediately identify and get values out of their language for one brand versus the other? And the answer I'd love to say is yes. And if I can continue this workshop, I can prove it, which is I would love to show you now sharing two pieces of copy, one written by Ferrari, one written by Mini and both pieces of copy, talk about how their car takes a corner. But both pieces of copy are anonymized. There's no visual cues. There's no logo, there's nothing else. I've chosen the most straightforward font I can find. So I'll put them up on the screen now for 30 seconds. And the question or two questions I'd like to ask in fact, first question is, which is Ferrari which is Mini? That's it. That's the easy question if you like, and the second question is, how did you know so If you're ready or show these two pieces of anonymized copy

Shireen: For the benefit of people who are just listening and not watching this, is it worth reading these out?

Chris: Absolutely. Yeah, thank you. That's a great idea. So the first piece of copy is this Mini is this Ferrari car brand X is the copy, go on to corner. Driving X is a ton of thing, a ton of fun, thanks to its legendary go kart handling. We could go on about It's lightning quick responses and glue light grip, dot dot dot that's car brand X his car brand. Why? Proprietary why algorithms guarantee optimal integration of the electric motor and V 12 engine and thereby optimizing dynamic behavior. When the car is cornering, the hiker system keeps V twelves revs up to ensure quicker response times to the accelerator pedal when exiting the Brembo brakes which integrate with the energy recovering system, have light calibers with a specific design designed to guarantee perfect heat dissipation from the new carbon ceramic discs. That's brand copy why? Most people when you put that up on the screen, when you read it to them, instantly, they will say they'll be able to answer the question one, yeah. First car car brand X which started borned corner driving X is a ton of fun. They'll say Mini without a doubt. The second piece of copy, which is much longer, much technologically complicated. Well, it's quite difficult to read without you know, good breath control. Not sure how good a job I made it. That's got to be Ferrari. That's easy question which is many which is Ferrari? That the interesting question I reckon is how comes everyone knows just from the language that one is many and one is Ferrari. And so there might be answers popping into your head already. Some people will say, Oh, go kart handling. That's a particular mini expression. Whereas hikers V 12, Brembo. Brakes, algorithm. That sounds much more like Ferrari. And they're absolutely right. They're picking on particular words, which are more likely to be one brand than the other. Some people will say, you know, X mini sounds, just sounds more. I know more fun. And some people will say Yeah, but why sounds much more elitist, technological. Engineering. And we would say, Yeah, you're absolutely right. Although those words engineering technological or something like that might not be actually in the copy. That's the personality of the copy that's coming out from each piece. We're getting a sense of the characteristics, getting a sense of the identity. And then some people will also say, You know what, and I would say it with a kind of half smile with a joke. And I say, You know what, I think Ferrari is just for people who are snobs. Or, though, that they want to they want to make you believe that driving a Ferrari is like an f1 experience. I say, Oh, interesting. And somebody will say yeah, but the thing with many is, they want you to know that you can just get in the car and go and it's a great, it's a great laugh. And I say absolutely. And what everyone does in those comments, is the eye, they identify that, in fact, there are three levels of language, or what is operating and are because we're the language animal, we're very subtly picking up these different cues. It doesn't matter whether it's brand language, whether it's this kind of conversation that we have here, or it's a great character in a movie or TV show. Whatever is written or spoken, it's informed by those three levels. There are those ground level details, the words and phrases we use, and don't use even grammatical structure and sentence length in those ground level details. If you come up to say 1000 feet, then there's that personality that's also working to tell us subtly who said this or who's likely to have said this, and then you go up to 10,000 feet. And then you have this sense of an overarching narrative. This is the world we believe in. This is what we stand for. This is what we stand against. So verbal identity and We've found this framework to be simple, but so memorable that people can constantly refer to it. And when they're coming to judge a piece of work, instead of saying, I'm not sure it's not quite right, that doesn't really do it for us, what they can actually do with their team or with their clients, or whoever it is, they can say, Absolutely, you've got the 10,000 foot narrative, this is exactly who we are, this is the world we believe in your what you've chosen to write about, is absolutely great. And the world the picture of the world, you're creating, just like Oatly did. That's, that's it, that's us. And they might say, and the personality you've come across, you know, technological or innovative, or smart, or friendly, or whatever it is, you know, those two or three, maybe four little value tonal values, which create a personality, you've got those, but down on the ground level details, you've got those wrong. And actually that skewing, that's screwing up everything. Or sometimes people see that one of the problem is one of one of the other areas. But we would always say, you know, a company is a conversation of good companies a brand of branded conversation internally and with and with customers and clients. And just as you work hard to make sure it's one company thinking and doing one thing, the language needs to think and do and say one thing. And this framework is brilliantly simple for aligning everyone. So once you've identified what's the 10,000, for overarching narrative? How does that turn up in our personality? And how does that dictate almost, if you like what our ground level details are, with grammar choices, words and phrases, so forth, then suddenly you have a framework, which is really brilliant, easy to remember, easy to refer to, and you can talk to your teams, when you are briefing them, you can address those three levels, when they are sitting, and they're going through their creative process, you know, they can be refreshed and reminded by those three levels. And actually, when you come in to judge the work, and if it's sign off first and one or two, that's great. But if you need anyone to have a rework on it, rather than that terrible moment where you say, look, it's just not us, but I don't know how to make it us. You can say, Look, this level is right, that level is right. But would you just have a look, for example, at the tonal values in the personality. And so we often have this little diagram, where there's a helicopter, hovering somewhere between ground level, 1000 foot and 10,000 foot. And we just asked people, so if we take the helicopter up to 10,000 foot, what's your worldview as a company as a brand? What's the world you want to create? And if that's the world we want to create, what do you stand for? And what must you stand against? And that will dictate what you get to talk about? And the angle you take on things? Let's bring the helicopter down to 1000 feet? And what's the personality of your company or your brand? How can you express that in a small number, say three tonal values? And if you come down to ground level, how do you make sure that everyone in the company when they're writing is using the same terminology? They're using enough jargon not too much, or whatever it is? And can you agree to save time at the beginning on certain grammar choices, sentence length and things like that. So those are the three levels, that phrase that make up that framework. And we found it both simple enough to be remembered. But I think also embracing enough to align writers, client teams, anyone that's signing off brand managers, all of those people in this idea that they can align, not just that whole company into one branded voice, but actually make sure the branded voice wherever it turns up in the different channels, is differentiated is distinctive, but is consistent. There you go.

Shireen: Great, thank you.

Chris: Well, my pleasure. Thank you very much.

Shireen: So how does this fit in for a brand that's just doing its brand strategy, maybe an early stage business? How would they think about this alongside their brand other considerations?

Having One Brand Voice for Early Stage Businesses

Chris: Well, we see it being used in two different ways. Sometimes, it's being used very early on to define a brand and that seems to be increasingly so. And I think it's this thing we talked about earlier, which is, there are so many more channels that a brand needs to be in. And there are so many more consumers or clients who want to be in a dialogue with you. It's sometimes worth defining your brand, using this simple three levels framework for the voice Voice and then applying that into the channels, and giving that as feed and nourishment for other people that are developing other brand assets. Because it's a very strategic. It's a very brand strategic framework. And certainly, up at the 10,000 foot view, when you're answering those questions, you're really getting into the nitty gritty, sometimes has happened with cover a large UK retailer that no one would know, not a couple of brands that people would know here in the UK and one in the states. The brand has been defined, the guidelines have been defined. And the brand director or the CMO or the founder said, You know what, just not happy how we're turning up in language. And it's nothing wrong with the brand strategy overall, it's just that most people don't have expertise in shaping and guiding and defining language. Like we have verbal identity, that's not a big brag, you know, we're a niche within a niche. So it's nothing to be too proud of that. But that's certainly what I've spent 12 years in this business doing and really 30 years of my career doing is structuring language and shaping language. So often people will say, look, we've got our brand definition down, we're, you know, we're doing fine in every area, it's just a language isn't turning up very well. So can you build this into our brand strategy document? Or can you work with our brand designers, which we'd love to do? Because my background is in Botha line advertising where you didn't move anywhere without your art director with? So there really is to two ways that people use this and call on this.

Shireen: Yeah, I'm wondering with Rude Health and Oatly, whether it's about Oatly being more sort of aligned generally about what they're doing as a business, which leads to their success? Because quite honestly, I've never read any of the things on their packaging. I don't know. Are you saying that people will be reading?

Visuals Attract, Verbals Engage

Chris: Absolutely. Yeah. And I think there's good tracking on that. And what it's doing, I couldn't say that Rude Health is more or less aligned. You know, as far as I think, you know, as far as I see, in Rude Health care product range, in its other activity and its promotions, you know, it's aligned its view of healthiness. And kind of progressive nutrition, if we want to call it that. Interview is this is good for your health, you know, you will notice of benefits and are kind of quite soft, not Yeah, quite soft way. Oatly, these equally aligned, it's just Oatly’s point of view is we've got to save the earth. And the dairy industry is really, you know, killing is really affecting the climate, to a large extent, and choosing plant based foods, including oat milk is a really serious, important step in contributing to the reduction of impact on climate. So I think they're both highly aligned. I think that it's the language of only which is really doing something to help position that to help position the brand and deposition its rivals. And the reason I say that is if you spend time in a supermarket in a big supermarket, which has got lots of these lovely new products coming onto the shelves, everyone seems to be doing a startup, some funky fruit product or some spend a moment lurking in the aisle where some new products on the shelf. And what you'll see is this moment where beautiful piece of packaging design stops someone. And then what do they do? They reach out they grab the packet, and they turn it around to read whatever is written about it on the back. And that's just a commercial version of what we see. Art Galleries. If you walk into an art gallery, you walk into the court claw gallery, you'll see Turner's stunning, stunning painting of the shipwreck. Wow. And anyone walk into the gallery is momentarily stopped. And they want to they want to look at it. And what do they do they walk over to it and then they bend down to the right look away from the painting and then read what the curator has written about it. Is this idea that visuals attract verbals engage, that we cannot work with just great visuals or just great language. Actually, what makes a brand really stand out compared to anyone else is amazing visuals which are strategically sound, innovative and distinctive and really engaging language which is innovative and distinctive, and both should be consistent with each other and all the way through the different realizations of the brand.

Shireen: Yeah, well, with Oakley’s case, they've got a more powerful message, meaning behind them, which is that they're about saving the planet. Whereas Rude Health? Probably, I don't know what they stand for, but just health being healthy.

Chris: What? So that's interesting, you know, what is it they stand for? Is that a failure of strategic positioning? Or is that a failure? If we want to be that way? Or, you know, is it something that could be corrected by stronger language? But my feeling is, if you're right, if you're asking your team to write something, what you're asking them to do, is to change a consumers mind or engage a consumers mind. And if they've written something, and people go, shoulder shrug, yeah, whatever. Then why did you spend any money? Why did you spend any time writing it, there was no value. Actually, if you're going to write anything, you must have a view of the world you want to create. And you must come at this and express this with a strong personality. And you must make sure that the ground level details are reinforcing.

Shireen: So you get the whole team involved in the when you go into a company, how do you work?

Aligning Everyone in the Company with a One Brand Voice

Chris: It depends whether we're being asked into an agency to work with them, or if we're working with a client team, and we're very lucky to be working with client teams at footsie 100 companies, big and so fast growing innovative engineering companies, whether they're traditional engineering or whether they're, you know, data, data science, beauty, skincare, startups and so forth. And so it really depends what the client's need is, but typically, they'll say to us, we want to make our language, I suppose. Yeah, they'll they'll say we really have three situations, one of three situations here. One is Brian stretchy, we really don't know what we stand for, or what we're trying to do. And we don't know how to express it. Okay, so this is a sprint, much more upstream brand strategy job. And we might work with a design agency strategy agency, or we might be sitting alongside them already. Sometimes they say strategy sorted out. We just need to know how does that turn up and brand voice and so we have a very good process, over something like six to 12 weeks will help create very clear, usable guidelines, tone of voice guidelines, which is somewhere between eight and 20 pages, but they're very practical. They're not theory around language or anything else. They say, you know, this is the framework. This is our this is how we turn up on each of those levels. This is how we turn up therefore in different channels and so forth. Sometimes the third scenario is a company will come to us and say, Chris, we're strategy sorted. Even our tone of voice, it might not be perfectly defined, but if you know we know really, what's good enough, but we just want some help for the copywriters maybe they're overwhelmed. Maybe a couple of key people have moved on. Maybe it's just one of those things where we all need some refreshment and some stimulation. So can you come in, maybe do some writing, but sometimes do some writing that sometimes, you know, can you train some of our writers so they're more productive? Can you train in the bigger businesses with copywriters, managers? So again, it's this thing of, can they breathe better? And can they judge better because if they can, and they're radically improving the productivity of their copywriting team, three different ways that we help gentleman?

Shireen: Yes. And then the message seeps through somehow. I mean, I'm often curious how messages actually get through to me, you know, if I think of a brand like Samsonite, I associate it with quality and but I don't know where I first even heard of Samsonite. How I came across them, why I've got that impression. And it's the same with so many brands.

How Brand Message Resonates

Chris: And that's the mature way of looking at it, you know, not to say like, it's all because of digital. It's all because of social or it's all because of what the truth is. There's a massive ecosystem now of marketing channels and marketing places and things like that. So a brand does really well when it's not just in one channel or it's not just doing one thing, but you know, its presence in social media is very clear and well defined is and that's aligned with its what it's doing in more traditional PR and that's aligned with what it's doing. to convey, you know, traditional above the line advertising, which is consistent with what the CEO is saying and investor relations meetings, which is consistent with what they're saying, in employee values internally and how their advertising roles vacant the business, because you might, for some reason, just see something that the CEO has said, Okay, well, fine, you know, that sinks slowly into anyone's head. And then the next time, you might hear something about them on a PR, you know, stimulated piece on the radio, and the same messages coming out. And then actually, for some reason, you see something about on social media. And again, it's got to be consistent, because there is this ecosystem, and each part of the ecosystem needs to be consistent with the other parts. And it's much more like that these days, I think, than in my days, when I started as a copywriter, which I loved, you know, and sacis would spend a million pounds just on shooting commercial TV commercial. And it was seen by everyone and actually, you know, remembered by everyone for 10 15 years. But you could do that then. And I don't think you can necessarily, I don't think you can expect to do that. Just in one channel stays. So it's really about turning up consistently in each channel, and particularly with the brand voice.

Shireen: Yeah, having real clarity around it. So, um, okay, so what resources would you recommend for people who want to dig into this fall apart from your own book?

Chris: Well, I'm going to reach out, since you very kindly mentioned my book, and here is my book board. It's never gonna work. Is it strong language? 

Shireen: I wonder why it's looking fuzzy up?

Chris: Who knows?

Shireen: Yeah.

Chris: There we go. There's a focal point on the camera. But the book is called strong language, fastest smartest, cheapest marketing tool you will not use, which is deliberately provocative, because everyone is using language is using tone of voice whether they realize it or not, I would say, but many of us forget about it. So having done this for 12 years, and worked with businesses from, you know, really literally two people pre startup, to series, a funding to de size businesses, through two famous UK brands like Vauxhall, B&Q. And even global brands, we were invited to go across to Silicon Valley to work with one part of alphabet on their language. Having done that for over 12 years, then I, I realized that not everyone is ready to dive in. Some people want to read about it learn a bit more, there might be a small team, they don't want to bring someone else inside the building. And so literally everything I knew about how you create a brand voice was put into the book, strong language. And not just about the creative, or the framework that I've mentioned. But also, all the other stuff about half the book is all the other stuff that we all have to go through in the real world, which is, how do I make a case to the boss that this is worth putting money behind? How do I if we've got a bit of money, where do we start? Because there are some things which are going to have a big impact, but they're impossible to change. And there are some things which are going to have a big impact, and they're easy to change. So how do you produce a simple quadrant matrix? So you identifying which of the quick wins and getting agreement on that? How do you audit? I don't like the word audit, I think of something else. But how do you really judge?

Shireen: Next book.

Chris: Yeah. How do you judge where your brand language is compared to other people in your sector? Or the best in the world? How do you judge how your language is in one channel compared to another? So there's lots and lots of practical examples in the book. And it also talks about, if you have one day to do something with your brand voice? How do you spend that day, if you have one week, if you have one month, if you have six months, if you have a year, all those different scenarios. They're provided for it in the book. So I hope that in the book, people can find out pretty much everything they needed, which will be wonderful. I get some lovely emails back saying, you know, I've just run the team through this. And it's that it's, you know, changed everything immediately. And perhaps there's one question, I'm really always happy to answer that. So I'll answer questions over on LinkedIn. If people want to find me there. I'm Chris West verbal identity. So on LinkedIn, if they look for Christmas, verbal identity, they find me Twitter, of course, but that's not I don't find that such a great conversational space. And occasionally, people will say like, coming to a lunch and learn for our for our agency, or Chris, could you come and do a lunch and learn with our creative team, our brand or a client or I want to get five people together from different businesses because we do this or just come in and you know, we do this once a quarter stimulation for the writers or for the board to come in and would you come in and do something like that? So in those different ways people can suck out of my head the last 12 years of accumulated knowledge.

Shireen: So is the business you primary Learning and then you engage people to help you needed or

Chris: It's me plus five. And the combination of me plus five plus, and the plus plus I've come to but the five arm are basically strategists who could have been writers or writers who could have been strategists. And then we have Baxter, who I must reference who's my operational assistant who tries to make best use of my time. And then the plus plus that we mentioned is, often our clients will say, Oh, this is great. And we need to get something across the line with relaunching the website. It's overwhelming for our team of writers. You know, can we boost our firepower with some of your so that so sometimes, sometimes it's me as a writer, but but we have a band of writers who will be very reliable and very skilled at adapting to Watson.

Shireen: Okay, one last question, which I'm going to ask everyone who comes on the show is what's the most memorable experience you've ever had with intellectual property law during your years as a branding professional?

Chris: That's a great question. So I don't know if this is really well. Let me let me put this in. And then we'll think if there's a better answer in a minute, but I used to work at Saatchi and Saatchi in the mid 90s, which sounds like such a long time ago. Now suppose it is. And Saatchi and Saatchi was so famous. And I moved house in South London, and I walked to the end of the road. And there was a drycleaners. And they call themselves starchy and starching. which I loved. I thought it's so funny. And you know, someone could be really upset at the infringement of trademark or something like that. And different to most people's searches, I think, had a view that not all publicity is good publicity, but celebration of us in our position and what we've done in and searches were very cheeky. Agency, they used to talk about Pulitzer. So I think if they ever found out about Star Trek and Star to believe they would have looked at it and smiled, because it was a recognition of what they've done as an agency. So does that count as an example?

Shireen: Well, if it's the only one you can think of, often people have made some mistake or being aware of something and they don't want to discuss it, which is flying. Yeah, to bring it up.

Chris: Because well, one of our clients ended up in a very interesting situation they were they launched three years previously. And I'm not gonna I'm not even going to say which industry it's in, if you don't mind. But it was a consumer facing business. And another consumer brand launched, which essentially had taken a synonym of our clients brand name, but made significant. taken significant inspiration, if we're being polite about the packaging and packaging design. Not only that, when we went on this copycats website, we'd found that they've cut and pasted our clients copy to such an extent that they've forgotten to take off our clients name from the copyright at the bottom. And you think, Oh, my goodness, how can you help? How does that ever happen?

Shireen: Yeah, I have a client like that, who lost his name domain names, because he had copied somebody's terms, the market leaders, but he had hadn't even removed their name. So it was just so obvious. Yeah.

Chris: So you know, IP is critical to all of us. And just knowing a little bit about it can stop you making a silly mistake, I think but it can also, just knowing a little bit about it can sometimes stop a competitor in their tracks with you showing enough knowledge that it just makes them pause for a second I think.

Shireen: Yeah. Do you ever get involved in choosing tag lines? That would be trade markable

Chris: taglines yes and leaves of course. Our trademark what I believe.

Shireen: Okay, good. Yeah, copywriting linguistics. It's all very useful for that.

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. You know, we're tone of voice and copywriting agency in big demand as people launch more products.

Shireen: Yeah.

Chris: Is naming strategy and naming as we call it naming hierarchies.

Shireen: Yeah. Great. Well, thank you very much indeed, Chris, for appearing on the podcast.

Chris: My pleasure. Thank you very much for inviting me.

Shireen: Bye.

Chris: Bye bye.

Shireen: That's it for this week. Do subscribe to the Brand Tuned newsletter to get weekly updates. I'd also love to get your feedback, just send me an email to info at Finally, if you liked the episode, please do share it with your friends and colleagues and review it on iTunes or whichever platform you use to listen to podcasts. If you leave us a five star review, it means more people will listen and we can spread the word much more quickly about the podcast. Thank you. Bye for now.