Stephane Hamel published An immersion in analytics based on a conversation we’ve been having based on some research I’ve been doing. Basically, he was thinking about coming up with a new tagline (“Easier Analytics”) for his blog. I offered that that’s a good tagline for what he offers, perhaps not for his blog because his blog tends to be a bit more cogitive than analytical.
The discussion really focused around three things; crafting a simple message, conveying that message quickly and making sure the message gets locked in memory.
Yep, that’s marketing and branding. At least in my world. Two ways to achieve the second and third elements of the above is to be alliterative and to use a rhythmic syllabation.
Alliteration – repeat phonemes (one of a small set of speech sounds that are distinguished by the speakers of a particular language)
Rhythmic Syllabation – creating a beat pattern with the syllables of the message
Let’s look at Stephane’s “an immersion in analytics” for an example of both.
Alliteration – “AN immersion in ANalytics”, “an IMmersion IN analytics”.
Rhythmic Syllabation – “/an/ /im-mer-sion/ /in/ /an-al-yt-ics/”, “1-3-1-4”.
Alliteration is a standard mnemonic trick. It’s one of the reasons tongue-twisters are so easy to remember and so difficult to pronounce. Rhythmic Syllabation works when the rhythm of the language matches any of the natural rhythms found in the human body. Match these natural rhythms and your message gets passed into the mind automatically.
The science behind this comes from the intersection of psychology and neuroscience, two fields that are finding themselves more and more in harmony that apart these days. I briefly touched on how headlines meet at this intersection in Headlines That Attract Attention.
It’s one thing to create something that gets stuck in memory, it’s a better thing to give it a positive slant in memory and it’s a best thing to create something that actually causes people to act right then and there. Think of it as hearing a good, enlivening piece of music and tapping your foot. Most times you’re not even aware you’ve been caught up in the rhythm. You’re acting without knowing your acting. Imagine getting website visitors to do that?
This is where knowing a little about language goes a long way. Be alliterative, be rhythmic. Now, if your tagline uses logical language place it on the left of the screen. You’ll cause people to have a positive response and probably act. If your tagline uses emotional language place it on the right of the screen. Again, a positive response and probably action.
This is (of course) an over simplification as marketing is more and more becoming a gestalt, not an “instance”, so experiment. And enjoy.
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