By Monique de Maio
Today’s post comes from guest blogger, Monique de Maio of OnDemandCMO.
Let’s play a quick game–I’ll say a word and you say the brand that pops into your mind: Magic Kingdom…do it…15 percent…overnight.
Were the brands you thought of Disney, Nike, Geico, and FedEx?
These are brands that have effectively managed to build strong associations between their brand and everyday words. This is branded language and to answer the question in the title, Google and Disney are both masters of branding language.
Brand language is the body of terms, phrases, and words that a company uses to describe both themselves and their products. It is a marketing strategy used to help consumers identify and strike connections between specific words and a given product. Creating a strong brand language and identity will not only build awareness for your brand, but it will also differentiate it from your competitors and similar products.
Going back to the examples above, the auto insurance industry is fairly crowded; however, Geico has managed to carve out a substantial niche for itself with its long-running campaign advertising that “15 minutes could save you 15 percent.” Geico has so effectively claimed the term 15 percent, that they recently started running billboard ads with the barest of barebones copy: “15%, …need I say more?”
Disney is one of the best at branding language. If you’ve ever been to a Disney park, cruise, or restaurant, you’ve surely heard employees wishing the guests a “magical day.” Words like “magic,” “kingdom,” “dreams,” “fantasy,” all have Disney connections in the common psyche.
Disney has built its brand on a foundation much larger than its logo—it promises a kingdom of magic, fantasy, and dreams—and it never wastes an opportunity to use its “branded” words in connection with the brand. Next time your kids ask you to watch a Disney movie with them, take it as an opportunity for some marketing education and watch how Disney inserts their branded words into every piece of physical, digital, and intellectual property they have.
The gold standard in branded language is when your brand’s trademark actually becomes the generic way of referring to something. For example, do you use online search, or do you Google things? Do you overnight packages, or do you FedEx them? Do you photocopy documents, or do you Xerox them? All of these are brand names, but they have entered the common lexicon and are used as verbs.
Language connects people—to each other and to brands. Building a strong brand language could be the key to your success.