It’s not because his brand is better…

Your brand is your favorite. After all, it’s yours…. Of course we should buy from you. You’re better!
—Seth Godin, Brand Exceptionalism

I was about halfway through reading this post on brand “exceptionalism”* ** when I said out loud, with a laugh (to the empty room), “I can hear you saying it. Ha. I can hear you saying it.”

It was when I read, “The problem with brand exceptionalism…” that I could (almost literally) hear him, as if I’d seen him give a talk with that point in it. I heard his voice go up on the word “problem,” heard him stretch out the word “exceptionalism” for a bit of speakerly effect as Mr. Godin is known to do.

I went back and read the post again and wondered if it’s a draft for a new speech, because it turns out I could “hear” him all through it, though it was only at that laugh-and-talk-to-the-office-wall moment that I’d become aware of it.

The clarity of Seth’s voice jumping off my screen is something you can aim for in your writing as well.

For your prospect, that laugh of recognition could be key to a connection that leads to a sale.

For your customer, “hearing” you come through in your words, even when you’re not physically present, is a quick reminder of what they like about doing business with you (and builds loyalty).

When you’re composing blog posts, brochures, ads, emails, and website copy, you want to engage and persuade your readers, not get an A+ for good form. So don’t write a paper for your high-school English teacher. In fact, don’t think of it like “writing” at all.

Think of it like capturing your speaking. Take a little time, and speak your words out loud before you write them down. If you want to take it even further, you can record yourself talking to customers, and play the recording back to find ways you phrase things that are uniquely yours.

It’s not nearly as goofy as hearing me blurt out, “I can hear you saying it” this afternoon—and wouldn’t getting your authentic voice across to your customers be worth it anyway?

I’ll bet you’ve at least tried to “write like you speak” for customers. Have you ever tried really talking out loud, to make what you’re writing as natural and authentic as possible?

What makes it easy (or hard) for you to give customers that “I can hear you saying it” moment with your writing?


Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson


*“Exceptionalism” is thinking you’re so awesome you forget to care if anyone else thinks you are, and you don’t think the regular rules should apply to you… sometimes heard in reference to parents who overly place on a pedestal/dote on their kids, sometimes in reference to countries, etc. Seth’s post is on the corporate version of this.

**Seth’s post on brand exceptionalism, referenced above, is an absorbing one. Yesterday’s post on the future of the library is even better. It’s off-topic for us, not very business-related (unless that’s your business, or unless you really try to stretch his point) but it’s a great thought-piece. If you’re about to click away to read Seth’s Blog, don’t miss The Future of the Library. I’ve said it before—sometimes he’s just fine for quite a while, then he has a genius week (like we all try to!). Looks like this is one of those genius weeks for Mr. Godin.