Be Clear, Not Clever

It’s always tempting to be clever. You’re hilarious, after all – and great with puns. I know.  It’s easy to want to load your brand up with all that creative genius.

Unfortunately – as much as you may see the parallels between your brand and a vessel, your audience won’t be able to connect the dots as easily. When you start referring to your team as “the crew,” offering to take your client on “a voyage to unchartered territory,” and suggesting your website look like an old, old wooden ship, you distract from your main message. What does your brand actually DO, and why is it important to your audience?

Don’t get me wrong – a well-orchestrated central narrative played out magnificently and thematically through your branding and design can be nothing short of brilliant. We always encourage a well-told story – but the best stories are the ones that consider the details.

It’s about the tone of voice (not always the words). It’s about the subtle nods to the bigger metaphor (not always explicit design). Basically, it’s about being clear, not clever.

Most people think that being clever is what will make their brand stand out in a crowded marketplace, but ironically, the opposite is true. If you want to win new customers and clients, aim for clarity. Clarity always wins.

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