A brand is more than a company’s logo, strapline or brand colours. It’s the feeling that someone gets from interacting (reading a blog post, speaking to an employee, etc.) with your business, its products or services.
A brand is intangible – you can’t touch or see it, and it’ll be perceived slightly differently by each consumer. Still you can control how your brand is portrayed using branded content, particularly the written communications you create.
Let’s see what brand copywriting is and isn’t and get tips on how you can master writing brand copywriting for your business.
What brand copywriting isn’t
Brand copywriting isn’t overtly sales-focused and phrases like ‘Buy Now’, ‘Hurry, or Limited stock left’ are avoided. Sales focused messages tap into people’s FOMO (fear of missing out), and act as the push they need to make a purchase. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use sales messages, but these must come later on, after the person starts trusting your brand.
What brand copywriting is
Brand copywriting focuses on differentiating your business from competitors and showing how trustworthy your brand is by humanising it. By giving your brand a ‘personality’, it makes it easier for consumers to build an emotional connection with your brand, so when the time comes, they’re ready to make a purchase, they already know how your brand can help them.
How to master brand copywriting (with examples)
Here are my five tips for mastering brand copywriting:
1. Know who you’re writing for?
Whether you’re setting up an ecommerce store or are offering industry expert advice, knowing who your audience is key to writing strong content. When preparing your customer personas, drill down as far as you can on who your customers are (gender, age, education, spending habits, etc.), what their needs are and how your brand can satisfy their needs.
Depending on what your company offers, you may have multiple customer personas. So, by taking the time to segment your customers at the start, it’s much easier for anyone (employees, stakeholders, freelancers) who is writing content for your brand to get to the heart of the message.
Here’s a great way of knowing who your customer is. Uber Eats sent me this email on a Friday morning as they know that we usually order a take-out on a Friday evening.
2. Keep it simple
No matter how much we tell ourselves that people read each word we write, it simply isn’t true. The reality is, people scan read, looking for pieces of information that are important to them.
To keep your reader’s eyes focused on your content, stick to one or two key pieces of information, use an active voice, keep sentences short (ideally 20 words or less) and avoid large chunks of text. If the platform you’re writing for sets a character count (i.e., social media), your messages will need to be short and snappy to grab the reader’s attention as they scan through their feeds.
This is an email I received from New Look. They’ve recorded I’ve been searching for summer outfits and have followed up with an email with 40% off. The email ends with a descriptive sentence that helps the reader to imagine themselves wearing these outfits at a summer gathering. So, as well as being short and snappy, the writing is tapping into the reader’s emotions.
3. Provide a solution
Good brand copywriting is customer-focused. So, instead of talking about your product or service features, flip this and explain how you can make your audience’s life easier by taking away their stressors or solving a problem they’re facing.
This is a great example from Itch – they’re a subscription based brand that sells flea powder for pets. They know that if your pet gets fleas it’s an absolute nightmare, as they can get into the carpet, soft furnishings etc. In a couple of sentences, Itch is selling the benefits of their service to pet owners.
4. Include emotion
All buying decisions are based on emotion. So, if you tap into people’s feelings and then back it with logical reasons, you’re more likely to make sales. Of course, people feel different things, but by knowing who you’re writing for, you can understand what their emotional triggers are.
Some emotions are negative, like fear, sadness or anger, and while you can use negative emotions to arouse feelings in your audience, always turn it around into a positive. This is a technique commonly used by eco or green brands to show how their products are helping with climate change.
True Gum is a Danish sustainable brand selling plant-based chewing gum. You may not know, but most well-known chewing gum brands contain plastic that can take a really long time for it to biodegrade. So, what’s the solution? Here, True Gum explain:
5. Be bold
Because who really remembers boring and bland content? There are so many ways to be bold with your content, but never exaggerate or lie. The brand Innocent uses humour very effectively to make their content memorable. While Ryanair never shies away from the shock factor to make their content stand out. Some brands use facts or data to make people stop and think.
Here’s a great example of this by Ocean Bottle. It really hits home the message, doesn’t it?
Are you looking for more copywriting tips? Download my eBook ‘Kick your Content into Shape’.
About me: I’m Emma a copywriter and content manager based in Harrow, London. I have a passion for writing and for creating amazing content for brands that have a strong sustainable, social and ethical mindset.