Take ’em for a whirl…The Thesaurus is Your Friend

If you’ve been following the last few posts and have done the written work, you are hopefully coming up with some unique ways to spin your company’s brand through it’s written communications.  You may have taken a company who sells low-vision software that is focused on being a cutting edge leader in assistive technology and thought about using words like: visionary, outlook, envision, vista, foresee.  You may have decided that you wanted to communicate the strength of your organization’s mission to you customers and included words such as: life’s work, purpose, aim, or ambition.

There are dozens of word that can communicate your brand identity, now that you may have come closer to understanding what that identity is.  And now that those seeds have been sewn, consider giving even more words a whirl.  There are all sorts of understood meanings, images, and understandings when it comes to nearly every word.  If you have any doubt, check your dictionary and see just how many different definitions are listed for just about any word.  I say, “harmonize” and you think I mean to hum along to my recent Ipod upload.  But, I could mean to unite or integrate or bring together.  Also, you may picture a harmonica in your head or June and Johnny Cash peering lovingly into one another’s eyes over their shared microphone.  This is what is called a “connotation” or an association/implied meaning of a word.  When I say “evolutionary”, do you think of primates evolving into a man, or do you think of technological changes and advancements, or do you think of the Bible?  All can be implied.  Connotations and the variety of words out there to select from exists to your advantage when considering how to write clearly and communicate the heart of your health and wellness business.

Use your thesaurus!  I love my hardbound copy, but there are also a variety of online thesauruses and, if your computer is equipped, you can right-click on nearly any word and select “synonyms” for a list of possibilities.  It’s fun!  Take some of those words you listed about your personal brand/company brand and start mapping them out to the endth degree.  Start with the original word in the center of your page.  Draw a circle around it.  Each time you find a word that is a synonym, draw a branch off the original circle and write the word out in its own circle.  Do this for every word. Now go back and do the same for each of the synonyms you wrote down. Continue branching, and branching, and branching.  You’ll be amazed!  You’ll end up with a merry-go-round of words spinning about the axis.  You can jot down phrases containing the words, as well.  Now, highlight several of your favorites.  Play with the subtleties.  Play with combining them.  Just play.  And see where it leads you, and where and how you can incorporate these new words, your new friends, into you written copy.  Be careful not to deliver too many messages at once.  For example, you don’t want to use revolutionary, powerful, insightful, probing, foresight, etc…all in one piece. Consider your audience.  Know your purpose.  Decide on your message.  And play within that.  My best friends in life are the ones who like to have a good time, they like to play.  So do words.  Take ’em to the playground!

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