The Power of Verbal Identity for Brands

When people talk about branding, they’re often referring to the artifacts we can see — logos, colors, fonts, all the visual parts of a brand identity. But visuals aren’t the only way we experience a brand.

Verbal identity is an essential piece of a larger brand identity. The visual and the verbal identity of your brand work together to create magnetic impressions that draw people in. This is especially important in crowded markets where distinction is vital.

If we want the identities we design to be successful for our clients, the verbal part can’t be an after-thought or a “we’ll get around to it later.” It’s as foundational as visual identity. (Somewhere, a Junior Copywriter just got his wings.) The words we choose, the names of our products, the copywriting voice and tone on our websites — all the various aspects of verbal identity matter, especially as more voice-only interfaces make their way into our homes, vehicles, and daily routines.

Siri, find me a Taco Joint

My design studio has been working on a restaurant brand called Maize Taco. There are, of course, logos and color palettes and typography considerations, but a huge part of the Maize brand identity is in the copywriting.

Maize’s playful, punny, legitimately corny verbal identity tells a story to their potential customers. Maize doesn’t take themselves too seriously, but the relentless, repeated voice and tone communicate they have a fanatically serious love affair with their primary ingredient.

Before you ever take a bite, before you set foot in an environment, or hold a menu, you know what you’re getting into — Maize is all about A) Corn, B) Tacos, and C) Fun! If you’re about those things, you’d probably enjoy what they’re selling. Good brand identities should do that sort of heavy lifting.

That’s the power of a distinct verbal identity. When we strategically align an appropriate visual and verbal identity with the core aspects of who a brand is, we create a cohesive, memorable brand identity that goes further than just having a great logo.

If part of your brand is what people say about you, why not give them the right language to tell the story?