What Children's Literature Can Teach Copywriters
What can writers learn from children's books? Turns out, a lot.
— WHICH VOICE IS YOUR BRAND? TAKE THE BRAND VOICE QUIZ —
SaaS, PaaS, DaaS… everything’s an “aaS” these days, and most of the time, it’s talking about technology. Whether you want to be a blockchain or cryptocurrency copywriter or specialize in marketing for tech startups, Tim is the voice you need to learn.
Our brand voice research surveyed the top 500 companies in the world, and found that all of the successful tech ones share certain vocabulary, language style and self-presentation. We added all of this up to create the brand voice persona or archetype we refer to as Tim. Here’s a little bit about that archetype, and how you can use it to write for technology brands.
NOTE: This is guidance if you ARE a tech brand looking to megaphone yourself in the marketplace or if you are a writer who creates content for tech companies.
The voice of Tim can be seen in brands like Netflix, Apple, Facebook, PayPal, Google and Cisco. You’ll see a lot of tech companies here, but not all of them are. It’s a useful voice in a lot of scenarios.
Tech brands are disruptors. That in itself is an… extremely overused word. Disruptive, disrupting, disrupticating (made that last one up). The tone I just wrote in is actually pretty close to Tim: it’s a little irreverent, a little sarcastic and a little in-your-face. Tech people are out there shaking things up: innovating and innovating on the innovations. Here are some of the words that a brand like Tim would use to describe itself:
This is next-gen, 3.0/4.0/5.0/whatever.0, it’s pushing boundaries and changing the game. These are all phrases brands like these love to use.
To represent the voice of Tim, we chose Oscar Wilde, and here is the quote:
“A little sincerity is a dangerous thing, and a great deal of it is absolutely fatal.”
A key distinction to make right now: another brand voice (we call “Ben”) is the life-of-the-party, game-night-with-friends guy. Tim comes across snarky or even offhanded, but deep down these brands are intense: calculating and cutthroat. They talk a big culture game, but if you work for them, you know it’s all about the bottom line. At least in my experience: tech brands come to win.
So, pool tables in the break room, business in the boardroom and an infusion of good naturedness to attract the right consumer.
Here are the celebs who embody the Tim brand voice:
Robert Downey Junior
You’ll notice, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and similar are notably absent. The thing is, Tim doesn’t market the actual tech part of things too intensely, at least not to the general public. The brand also doesn’t front with workaholism, shareholder meetings, reports to the board, which are a huge part of these massively lucrative businesses. That’s not important for marketing. It’s important that the front man - Tim - is fun.
Hanging out with Tim feels great. In fact, here’s how we’d put it:
Tim feels like a game night with neighbors.
Relatable. Down home. Craft beer. Friendly competition. All in good fun.
Here is a more thorough list of the brands that have overlapping language and vocabulary styles to the Tim brand voice:
Make no mistake, while some Tim brands are startups, there are also some real power players here.
Writing for tech brands requires a certain amount of insouciance, levity and also industry acumen. You do need to fully grasp how the tech works, so you don’t sound like an idiot or misrepresent the company, but you also need to understand why consumers want it. Unless the company strictly sells to other businesses that need to understand the nitty gritty operational components, selling to consumers still comes down to making connections. Tim is the outcome: life is great, made even greater by this awesome tech, and he is totally here for it - you should be too. That kind of thing.
If you want to dive deeper into writing for tech brands, I highly recommend you follow this topic on our blog:
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