How you can teach others to think by the words you use with them.
Whenever language is bent, it tweaks the ear to listen and to consider the different.
The strategic use of language to change thinking is called Languaging, and it’s essential for writers, creators, entrepreneurs, marketers, and Category Designers. If you can’t write what you’re thinking, then you aren’t thinking clearly. And if you aren’t thinking clearly, then how are you going to change the way the reader, customer, consumer, or user thinks?
The way you do this is with words.
Languaging is about creating distinctions between old and new, same and different.
Languaging changes the way people perceive the thing they’re looking at.
- Henry Ford called the first vehicle a “horseless carriage,” not a faster horse.
- Sara Blakely invented “Spanx,” not better shapewear.
- You and your friends go to “brunch,” not a late breakfast.
If done well, languaging has the potential to reflect the unspoken qualities of your category point of view.
You can deliberately use languaging to do a few things:
- To differentiate yourself from any and all competition through word choice, tone, and nuance.
- To speak to (and speak “like”) the customers you want to attract — especially the Superconsumers of the category.
- To further establish your position in the category you are designing or redesigning.
- To insinuate and give context to the rest of the 8 levers: price, profit model, branding, etc., and how the company executes any number of them in a different way.
And it all starts with your point of view.
Your point of view of a category is what “hooks” the customer, and the language you use reflects your POV.
A POV is, “What do I stand for?” Languaging is, “How do I powerfully communicate our POV?” And messaging is, “What should I say?”