Verbal Identity & Naming

Process and Case Studies


The nuts and bolts of your brand’s identity. Verbal identity comes after brand strategy and sets the stage for naming, visual identity, logo design and all marketing creative.

Based on your brand strategy, we create a system of language that is distinct from competitors. Connects with your target’s unmet need. Scales with brand growth.


A typical verbal identity includes the following internal guidelines and external messaging:

Internal Guidelines 
  • Vibe
  • Beliefs
  • Nemesis 
  • Tone
  • Readability range 
  • Additional grammer, syntax, word choice and writing style recommendations

External Messaging
  • Naming 
  • Purpose (About Us Copy)
  • Tagline & Storytelling Statement 
  • Values
  • Benefits 
  • Homepage Copy
  • Unique Sales Proposition
  • Why Us Copy
  • Audience Value Proposition
  • Elevator Pitch 
  • Meta Descriptions for About Us, Homepage and Why Us pages



You will have a clear story that launches a new brand or strengthens an existing brand.

This all starts with a conversation about brand strategy. Do you need that, too? 







Arch Anchor

Award Winning Identity




Launching a commercial real estate brand that’s rooted in a distinct vibe and values compared to the category. 

Yashaar Amin, founder and managing principal, was running a successful company that was primed to grow.

In order to make their company known to new clients and employees, they needed a brand that would represent their personal and professional ethos. While also clearly communicating their value. 



Commercial real estate firms tend to play it safe.  

But Yahsaar was willing to push the category norms. Plus, he had a business reason to back it up. The company operates more creatively and personally than most CRE firms.

We leaned into their ethos and our consumer insights to deliver a tone and personality that is clear and casual, while also being uncharacteristically imaginative for the category. 




We didn’t stop at verbal identity. 

A new brand strategy was implemented that expressed their core values, leading to a distinct CRE brand that represents creativity, environmental focus and the community.

The new verbal and visual identity reflects this brand strategy. Imaginative copy. Energetic design. And a color palette that stands out from the competition.






What the Flip








An audacious new take on the transformation of property, possessions and people.
    What the Flip is an online show that is being pitched for TV. We created a personality-packed identity that brought Ellie Greenberg’s sassy self to the surface. 





Our strategy discussions lead to the refinement of the show’s core story, audience and values.
     We documented these fundamental charactersitics (along with others) and mapped them to obejctives that would help Ellie achieve her goal of successfully growing her social audience and eventually pitching her show.  


In addition to the usual verbal identity elements, I wrote scripts and copy that appear in show and play a supporting role in social, digital and OOH environments. 




Branding and copywriting for entertainment is fun and I missed it!
   It had been years since I wrote for an entertainment brand, with A&E Networks and History channel being my previous experience in the category. What I enjoyed the most was learning a new character and creating language that was authentic to her, which I hope connects with her audience. 





Mosaic









 A historic district with a historic set of problems. Vacancy. Security. A lack of identity and a lack of pride.  
    I helped develop a real estate destination that brought together all of the unique elements of Long Beach to forever change the downtown retail experience. Through brand immersion sessions with our CRE clients, we achieved this vision with the development of the newly titled Mosaic.



 One element of the branding process was the creation of a storytelling lens.
    Together we thrive is the filter through which we pass every aspect of the brand story. Through various themes and consumer touchpoints, it promotes community pride. It embodies our mission in a succinct and relatable way that allows our consumer to make this story their own.





This is just the beginning for Mosiac!
  I will be updating creative as more aspects of this project go live.





Pallaby







The idea for a business existed, but there wasn’t a name or identity.
    Through market research, competitive and company audits, we developed their name, brand book and story.





We landed on language that hints at positioning and values.    This ‘knowledgable partner with the consumer’ mindset is at the core of their product offering and their desire to develop a wide range of wellness services (such as free televet visits for members).  

We established a supportive and approachable everyman persona and tone of voice.   The brand strives to be honest, modest, relaxed and playful. No frills or gimmicks. The type of person that would make a trusted dog sitter. 


In taking the brand to market, we built off of the identity and had some pup-loving fun.
    While the brand is serious about dog health, it allows for relatable and playful expressions of love, quirkiness, happiness; experiences and feelings that pet owners cherish. 






Smarter 







By 2030, the US population will fit the definition of “super-aged” – more than 20% will be over 65.
  This group is largely disengaged with technology at the cost of their health and happiness. They face personal, complex barriers that require attentive, in-person care to overcome this disengagement with tech. Smarter was created for these people.

Not only are older adults left feeling disconnected and even invisible, there is a generational strain at play.
    Their children find themselves juggling careers, families, social lives and the needs of their parents. They don’t have the time or skills required to help their parents. Leaving the children to feel guilty, inadequate and resigned.



The brand wants to be a trusted source of knowledge, like the tech-savy younger family member. Someone who is also caring and understanding. 
   Working with their research and the founding members, we positioned the brand and developed this helpful persona.

 



Examples of messaging that captured the brand’s value in a variety of ways.  
   I find that writing divergently and sharing an array of value messaging helps us have productive conversations before we set any rules (e.g. should it be “older adults” or “older people?”). 



Tagline dilemma.
  The clients liked both of these as potential taglines. Which do you prefer?  


Mark

Hi, I’m Zane



I help brands develop their strategy and express it through creative concepts, content and copy.  

I’m your co-pilot in the oftentimes complex world of marketing and branding.

Who will help your business grow through 4 specialties:


Copywriting

Verbal Identity

Brand Strategy

Naming


Before freelance, I spent 10 years at agencies and in-house. Working within a variety of categories.

Nowadays, I partner directly with the people at agencies and brands.  

Together, we create cool new stuff:

🏆 Award-winning verbal and visual identities. Like my work on Arch Anchor and Mosaic, done in partnership with comrades at Dean & Co.

🐣 New brand campaigns and performance marketing assets. That question category norms and drive engagement. Like my work with UCLA and Guava Family.

👔 Partner with CEOs at brands like Lejon and Unique Vintage. Helping them craft a distinct brand voice and a consistent story. Attracting new customers and investors. 

Say Hello 



Clients

“Zane's ability to jump in and quickly create impactful, immediately usable work is every creative director's dream. Specifically how he helped us take dissonant insights and turn them into a solid, strategy-lead manifesto and multiple brand video scripts for performance marketing.” Reed Schmidt, Creative Director, Guava

“We hired Zane to help us reposition the brand with a new verbal identity and personality. He has a very thorough strategy process which really got to the essence of who we are as a brand. The collaboration and communication along the way was excellent. He truly exceeded expectations.” Gregg Hemphill, CEO, Nexbelt

“His ability to tie creative thinking to consumer insights, trends/culture, and our marketing objectives was unmatched by any creative I have ever worked with. It was always clear where an idea started and how he got to the final product.” Gina Colonette, Senior Social Media Manager, Philips 


Values

Belief. You can call me Ted Lasso because I believe in belief and that the customer notices said belief. Trickle down belief-onomics.

Curiosity.
The act of learning and unlearning is like sunshine for the mind. Curiosity keeps me aware, humble and open to new ideas.

Adaptability. I’m gonna let Lau Tzu take this one, “A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind. The stiff will be broken; the soft will prevail.”




Mentorship

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