Often overlooked copy considerations that really do matter.
Copywriters edit everything. Not just our own work, which would be quite normal and non-neurotic, but everything we see. For us, the world is a constant assault of offensively sloppy communication, which has only worsened with time and technology. We find it difficult to continue dating someone who texts us "your so great." We wonder why the neighborhood bar has specials on "Friday's" or if Kurt Cobain has come back from the beyond to write our preferred activewear brand's shopping cart copy.
This insanity is our problem, not yours. But we bring it up to make a point: Sometimes it's the little things that make brand communication truly unified and professional. Big, strong concepts are wonderful, but there are a few simple things to consider to make your presentation clean and clear.
You learned in grammar school when to capitalize a word, and yet you don't always do it properly. Which is fine. You're an adult. You can make up your own rules about these things to show your creativity or whatever. Just be consistent about it, and your brand will appear to speak in its own, ownable voice. Are you going to go full-on Jaden Smith and write everything in an extreme version of title case? Or are you more of an all-caps type? And where will you do what? Your case rules for web or email can be different than for social. Whatever you decide is fine with us. Just please be consistent about it.
How often do you read a blog or Twitter feed from an organization with the word "I" or "me" in it and wonder who exactly is speaking to you? Is it the CEO of the company? The currently contracted publicist? The intern who will quit at the end of the summer? It's important to make decisions about pronouns (for those who were asleep in third grade: he, she, it, I, we, you, they, etc.) before you begin to communicate with your audience. (Hint: One way to evoke an elevated, luxury voice is to avoid using them altogether.)
Whenever we think of punctuation, we think of Clinique, a heritage beauty brand in an ongoing obsessive affair with the period. So classy. So class-ic. Clinique owns the period. Your brand can own its use of punctuation too. Is your brand cool and composed? Then exclamation points are out. Do you want to evoke clarity and confidence over mystery? No ellipses allowed. If you're super modern, you don't need punctuation at all. Again, consistency is everything. Pick a stance on punctuation and do it every time.
Deciding if you're a brand of few words or many can have an enormous impact on how you're perceived. If you want to be super relatable, err on the Chatty Cathy side. If you think an air of arrogance is what your customers want, then don't say much at all. However terse you want to be, make sure you carry it over to social. You don't have to use all 140 characters, and if your imagery is strong, you don't need a ton of explaining on your Insta. Remember also that overdoing it with the hash tags hasn't been cute since around 2011.
Figure out wtf you're going to do about curse words (see what we did there?) Maybe abbreviations are okay. Maybe bleep characters are f#@king fine with you. If you want to just come right out and fucking say it, then maybe decide how sparingly you'll use certain words. Particularly if you're running a content program where you have a lot of different contributors, and definitely if your brand fancies itself edgy, you are going to have to deal with this f-ing issue eventually.
Is it a clip or clasp? PDR or light industrial? An A-line skirt or a flared skirt? It's crucial to settle on a lexicon to represent core aspects of your products and services and then use those words consistently. For proprietary products and motifs, take the time to come up with a creative name. Don't just name things to name things though. If a straightforward term works, use it. Always.