At some point in the last few years, it somehow became acceptable to interchange adjectives and profanity in business. Even industry icons we’ve looked up to have begun using them to add extra emphasis to a statement in a professional communication and honestly, it makes our respect for them and their brand drop considerably each time. Call me old fashioned, but I just don’t feel that profanity should become part of your business vocabulary, similarly, vulgarity just really has no place in business.
We’re no strangers to cursing, some of us curse often – embarrassingly often in our personal lives but in business, there is no place for it.
Your brand communication is emblematic of your business and of the person(s) behind it, how you portray your business in your social media, your campaigns and your communications can impact your audience greatly and if that’s a negative impact, it can be detrimental to both your business’ revenue and reputation.
It’s one thing (and something that needs to be immediately addressed) to be sitting in an office and hear a C-Suite manager liberally sprinkling the ‘F-bomb’ around every second word or so lightheartedly for emphasis or even worse, hearing it in Board meetings but it’s another to emblazon profanity across your public image without hesitation.
It’s a cheap attention-getter and effectively tells your audience that you were either too lazy or too dim-witted to find a more eloquent descriptor. It also affects your brand associations – a more conservative brand will be hesitant to partner with you if they feel your brand will sully theirs with your peppering of obscenities in your shared communications or speaking engagements.
Using profanity or obscenity is not clever or witty, in fact it makes your brand look lazy and unintelligent. It may grab attention from a particular audience but the question you need to ask is whether that audience is really your target or just a way to create a buzz. Yes, your aim is to build a brand following, but if they’re not the kind of followers who are likely to convert to clients or influencers, they’re a useless audience.
A great copywriter is able to use language eloquently and creatively to stir emotions and communicate efficiently and effectively without ever needing to rely on vulgarity or obscenity to get the job done.
It’s time to create language parameters for your brand and incorporate them into your brand’s style and use guide. It’s time to rid your brand of bad manners.
Iit’s time to invoke ‘Brand Manners’.