A picture paints a thousand words but who cares?

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Imagine trying to memorise a poem visually, where you’re not allowed to say the words out loud. You’d find it almost impossible. In this Vlog, Grant explains that there’s a good reason for that and how it applies to your business.


Imagine trying to memorise a poem visually, where you’re not allowed to say the words out loud. You’d find it almost impossible and there’s a good reason for that.

We’ve always been led to believe that a picture paints a thousand words and that is true. If you want to get over some complex information quickly, then doing it in a visual way is often the best way of doing it.

However, there is something that people miss; the mind works by the ear and not by the eye. Imagine watching a TV advert with the sound down. It may not make much sense. However, if you walk away from the television and make a cup of tea while the commercials are on and you can hear it, you’d still understand what’s going on. We don’t watch TV without the sound on, but we listened to radio which has no pictures. The point is this, while a picture can get over a lot of information, very quickly, we conceptualise information in an auditory way.

What does that mean for your communications? Well nobody is saying you shouldn’t use images – of course you should – we live in a visual culture. But people are starting to neglect words. And the words you use and the way they sound, matter.

For example, think about choosing a company name. How does it sound when it said. Does it evoke the feelings and the emotions that you want a customer to have? One of the mistakes that people make with a name, is they slimline it down into initials which are often meaningless. So the Garden Centre Company suddenly becomes GCC, which nobody really understands.

Think about your strapline or value proposition to the customer. Does it sound right? Does it have a nice ring to it? Auditory has always been important, but in a world of Instagram and video and other visuals online, people are forgetting the importance of the words and how they sound. But this is becoming increasingly something that people have to take notice of, because we’re in the world – and entering the world – of conversational commerce, where people are using things like Google assistant and Alexa to search, and as search goes voice, the way things sound will matter more and more.

So think about your communications and make sure they don’t just say the right things, but they sound the right way.
And now I’m off to that garden centre. Alexa, find me directions for the GCC! (Alexa responds) ‘Finding directions for the Gentleman’s Cutey Club’

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  1. Hi! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I
    love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Carry on the excellent work!

      1. As always…interesting point about ” conversational commerce” itself an arresting use of words.

        1. Author

          Thanks Chris. Yes, the language people use is really important. In my experience, many companies do not spend enough time crafting the messages they wish to communicate to clients (that response took me ages! ? )

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