That time I rewrote a Thameslink message screen

I’m on a Thameslink train into London, compulsively watching my carriage’s little message screen. It’s giving me some pretty useful information – but their brand language is a little clunky. That’s frustrating, because with a few simple tweaks their writing could be much warmer, friendlier and more impactful. So, as a great believer in puttingContinue reading “That time I rewrote a Thameslink message screen”

Talking brand storytelling

So I’ve been podcasted – many thanks to Andy from SiteVisibility, who had me on their Internet Marketing Podcast to chat about brand storytelling. Once you start talking about brand storytelling, it’s hard to stop. We discussed how to give your brand a compelling personality, tell it as a gripping story and show your customersContinue reading “Talking brand storytelling”

So why do we need tone of voice anyway?

Well, you can answer that in three words: Dick Van Dyke If you’re not British, you probably know him as a tremendously versatile actor and light entertainer who’s still hoofing it up in his 90s. But if you are a Brit, when you hear his name you’ll probably mutter something like ‘Gorblimey Mary Poppins’ inContinue reading “So why do we need tone of voice anyway?”

How dark archetypes can help you fix your brand

People often use archetypes when they’re talking about brand personality or pinning down a tone of voice. They can be very helpful indeed – but, like everything, they have a dark side. Every heroic brand archetype is balanced by its villainous opposite. Those dark archetypes are just as useful when you’re thinking about your brand.Continue reading “How dark archetypes can help you fix your brand”

Why business writing should come from the heart

There’s a comment that often comes up when I’m training B2B communicators in better business writing. It usually happens when I say something along the lines of: ‘To write well, you have to think about what your audience are feeling as much as what you’re telling them’. And when I say that, someone usually repliesContinue reading “Why business writing should come from the heart”

There’s no such thing as a mistake

At the start of jazz great Herbie Hancock’s autobiography, he describes a mid-60s gig with Miles Davis at a Stockholm concert hall. The band’s playing hard, the audience are going wild, the atmosphere’s electric, Miles is about to unleash a devastating solo, when: ‘I play a chord that is just so wrong. I don’t evenContinue reading “There’s no such thing as a mistake”