Words That Work - It's not What You Say, It's What People Hear
July 29, 2007
Great! book by Dr. Frank Luntz on the use and meaning of language. In his new book WORDS THAT WORK: IT'S NOT WHAT YOU SAY, IT'S WHAT PEOPLE HEAR, Dr. Luntz describes how he uses language to motive consumers to act and believe. His work helped put Ross Perot on the map when he ran for President and defined the Republican party during the Reagan and Bush 1 years.
I loved this book for many reasons. Dr. Luntz confirms many of the things I've learned interpreting focus groups for the past 20 years. I, like Dr. Luntz, believe there is no better research vehicle than focus groups for understanding how to create emotional resonance with the consumer that actually causes someone to act. He describes ten rules of effective language (use small words, use short sentences, credibility is as important as philosophy, consistency, novelty/newness, sound and texture matter, speak aspirationally, visualize, ask a question, provide context and explain relevance) that I have found equally powerful when I draft product concepts for consumer appraisal and when writing a persuasive direct mail letter.
I also appreciate his simple explanation that the purpose of marketing is to convince people to visualize themselves using your product or service. Ii could go on and on quoting from this wonderful book.
Rarely do business books serve as a must have reference for marketers. This is one of the great marketing books of all time. Buy it read it and refer to it any time you communicate with your customers.