By Anne Miller
Hit? Smashed? Collided?
Researchers conducted an experiment in which groups of people were shown a picture of an automobile accident. They were asked, “How fast were the cars going when they….?” The choices given for the blank verb were variously “bumped,” “contacted,” “hit,” “collided,” or “smashed.” Groups that were asked the question with the word “smashed,” gave the highest estimates of speed. The difference in a single verb led to markedly different reactions.
Smash Through the Clutter
We live in a very noisy, information overloaded world. You can physically talk to clients across the country on your cell phone, but sometimes cannot get your point across just talking in the same room. As you scramble for every new online tool and idea to communicate to with consumers, visual language is still your strongest tool.
We make business choices every day: Who to call? What to do next? Which accounts to pursue? We need to stop and choose our words with equal care. We need to do with words for marketing what JFK said Churchill did with language for war:
“He mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.”