Language, thought, andthe language of thought.Emmet Ó BriainQUIDDITYChris WestVerbal Identity
2How importantare the individual words we use?Chris – Using new language creates new thinking&Emmet – We use language to reflect and actively construct ouridentities and those of others= What happens if you put these thoughts together...?Can changing the words in a conversation change what people thinkabout the underlying topic or themselves?
3Chris says...Premise – People use language to intimate theirthoughts and ideas to each otherAnd obviously – Within a group, linguistic variationsare used to generate a consensus as to the “correct”conception of an idea and also helps the group cementits own identityBut also – By introducing the group to new languagewith new or pre-existing meanings, we can cause themto reassess a particular situation, and reconfigure theirown identity, both at individual and group level
41. “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, thatgoes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, thatgoes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela – make sure you usetheir language (and not that of a nearby category)What might that mean for business?
5Premise – People use language to organise theirthoughts and ideasAnd obviously – We can only talk about conceptswe can describe verballyBut also – We tend to think about concepts interms we can describe verbally.In this sense, language profoundly shapes the waywe view and interact with the worldEmmet says...
6“The limits of my languagemean the limits of my world”Proposition 5.6, TractatusLogico-PhilosophicusLUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN
72. “Language in – Language out”If our ultimate purpose is to create effective words for abrand, shouldnt we also use words as the currency of ourresearch?What might that mean for business?
8More than Words – Language not only describes what we are talking about…Self-Actualisation – the choice of words, language and styles (aka VerbalIdentity) shapes the image that we as a group project of ourselves (to othersand to ourselves), and thus overwhelmingly informs our own personalidentityChanging a group’s language changeshow the group sees itself
9Understand the shared meanings – encoded in the language used byparticular groupsDifferent groups, different words, one idea – By tapping the style, vocabulary,and cultural touchstones of particular groups, the same idea can be moreeffectively conveyed to those groupsMaking sure your brand message engages itsaudience
10Change the words, change the groups thinking – Language can change theway people think about things (and themselves)Change the words, change the expectations – A different set of words canrecalibrate someones expectation of a brand.Putting the Words to Work
11To change your brand’s language:Contact Chris West, Verbal Identityyowesty@verbalidentity.co.uk+44 7798 77 22 98&To understand how you and your customers use language:Contact Emmet Ó Briain, Quiddityemmet@quiddity.ie+ 353 86 792 4202
12Verbal Identity works with some of the world’smost interesting brands, “creating languagewhich creates value for our clients.” We help ourclients engage with their audiences bydeveloping tone of voice guidelines, languagestrategy, brand narrative, copywriting productnaming and text analytics.
13QUIDDITY is devoted to making sense of consumer culture, popular opinion andpublic life through careful research and detailed analysis.We help organisations understand the cultural context in which they operate andhow people make sense of brands and communications within that culture byfocusing on the analysis of naturally occurring data and unstructured data,including language, complaints, online sentiment and cultural data.