Did you know that written verbs trigger the same emotion in our brains as the action itself? The word “kick” in an ad makes us actually want to take that action. For marketers this is quite a coup. After all, it is the dream of every marketer to have people do what the ad tells them to do.
David Luna, a Professor and Chair of the Aaronson Department of Marketing and International Business at Baruch College, City University of New York and author of The Language of Branding: Theory, Strategies and Tactics, has developed “linguistics”, a conceptual framework that examines how language influences the way consumers interact with brands. There are three disciplines to the study of language branding: psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics, and semiotics.
Psycholinguistics is how you process language inside of your head. For example, how you use of verbs in communications vs. nouns. Through brain scanning technology, Luna has been able to study how verbs are processed differently from nouns in peoples’ minds. Just by thinking of action words the areas of the brain involved in motor action and movement get activated. Social linguistics is a discipline that draws from areas like sociology and the function is to study how meanings are conveyed from person to another. Finally, semiotics comes from areas of symbolic nature of language, such as metaphors.
Brand advertisements which we see all the time as consumers contain visual imagery, but research points out that branding relies heavily on language. We get to know a brand through language. Brand names involve language, the slogans—these things influence perception, memory, attitudes and behavior. When you take those findings and apply it to marketing you find that when communication involves verbs, people tend to want to act and buy things.