Are you using these 3 types of branding words and avoiding that one?


1. Develop your word bank
2. Refine your word bank
3. Categorise your list
4. Use the list

Everyone has selective hearing. We hear what we want to hear.

Your ears switch off when a nagging occurs and work at 200% when your enemy at the other table is talking about you.

So why would it be different when it comes to customers hearing your message? They read what they want to see, and not what you wrote. So, are you using words they want to hear?

I use a word bank of attributes to help my clients craft a message. It is a list of logical and emotional words that describe the design brand, vision, product, service, ideal customer’s needs and wants.

I’ll explain what the attributes are for before going through the steps to crafting a message. This information will help you quickly develop a targeted word bank. There are four types of attributes in your word bank; fundamental, valued, distinct and distraction.

Fundamental Attributes

Words that describe your product/service. They are mostly rational words and speaks about the quality of your product/service and the improvement it delivers to the customer’s lives after purchase.

Valued Attributes

Words that build a connection between your product/service and the customer. They help create a relationship between your customer, your product and you. These are more emotional than the fundamental attributes.

Distinct Attributes

Words that communicate your design brand and differentiate you from other designers. It is rational and emotional and represents your value and style. These words will convince your customer/client that your design values are what they share and support.

Distraction Attributes

Words that contradict your design brand, vision, product, service and customer behaviours. Always have this list of words next to you when you are reviewing your message. When you craft an introductory message, product feature or service description, you may unknowingly use words that subtly but negatively impact your marketing message. This list of words will help you avoid that mistake.

Now to the process!

1. Develop your word bank

For Design, brand and vision

Write a list of words based on your design brand and vision. Focus on emotional and inspirational words.

For your product and service

Write a list of words based on your product and service. Focus on rational and technical words.

For your customers

Write a list of words based on your customer’s needs and wants. Use your customer personas to keep you in the mindset of your ideal customer.

List your distraction attributes

These are words that either contradicts or do not represent your design brand, vision, product, service and your ideal customer.

2. Refine your word bank

Use your distraction attributes to filter out the remaining words from your design, brand, vision, product, service and customer word banks. Words that will go will be those that:

  • Contradict the design brand and vision
  • Contradict your product and service
  • Do not resonate, inspire or motivate your customers

3. Categorise your list

What you will have are positive words that describe your brand, vision, product, service and customer’s needs and wants. Now it’s to categorise them into fundamental, valued and distinct attributes. Try to limit yourself to 3 – 6 words per attribute. This is to build familiarity with your customers.

Do note that you should not abandon the other words. Keep them in the back and revisit these words after a few months. Your business/design may take on a different direction and the backup words may be more relevant to your marketing message.

4. Use your word bank

When you create your message, it should contain at least 1 word from each attribute (fundamental, valued and distinct) to describe your product/service rationally, build a connection with your customers emotionally and convey your design value.


1. Develop your word bank
2. Refine your word bank
3. Categorise your list
4. Use the list