How consistent terminology builds a better brand voice

Some brands confuse consumers with inconsistent terms. For example, a software company might call a single piece of software a “tool,” “suite,” “dashboard,” or “solution.” This approach could make the user think that software X comes in 5 different versions. Similarly, user-interfaces, help text, and marketing campaigns will suffer big time if clear, consistent terms aren’t used.

What’s the solution? How can you stop the madness? The absolute easiest way is creating a glossary and sending it to all your content producers.

I like to make my glossaries in Google Sheets. You might divide it up like so:

Having a glossary will allow content producers to confirm that they’re using the right term, capitalization, and spacing. It can also provide them with helpful alternatives when they’re trying not to be repetitive.

Inventory your content

The first step in creating your glossary is taking an inventory of the terms used throughout your content. To do this, make a copy of our glossary template and start reading through your website, social media, sales content, blog posts, customer service info, and help documents. As you read, fill in the term column with terms that you see frequently or that need to be used consistently.

Trim the fat

Once you’ve inventoried the terms, start eliminating anything repetitive or that doesn’t match your brand’s voice. If possible, copy these into a Doc and list them as a term to avoid using.

Define those suckers

Next, take your lean group of terms and start defining them and filling in the other columns. This step could give you surprising insights into how your brand has been communicating. You might even see that major changes need to be made to product names. But, don’t worry, this is all part of the process of optimizing your brand’s content.

A word may seem like a small thing, but using the right word in the right place can have a powerful effect. This is just one of our eight and half tips to create a brand voice before creating your brand voice. Want the rest? Just fill out this form:

Alex Hughes