American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou said: ‘They may forget what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.’  Which is why it’s never ‘just semantics’. Semantics (the meaning of words) matters – particularly in branding and especially when determining your brand’s tone of voice. Every word, question, response and statement should be considered and interrogated for its meaning and its distinctiveness in context – that is pragmatics. These should be the building blocks when defining a brand’s character, tone and language. Language is the extension of your brand’s character or persona, and the only tangible cue for your audience to know that your brand is a  ‘hero’, a ‘sage’ or a ‘nurturer’. Character turns a good product into a brand, and language can turn your brand into a favourite. Linguistics and brand tone of voice What makes a distinctive brand voice so important? Isn’t it more important to work hard to make your brand sound more human? A brand vo...

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