The great thinker Aristotle wrote a piece called The Art of Rhetoric in which he proposed the ways and means an intelligent individual should communicate effectively.
Here we will go over the three ways a communicator can persuade, and describe how your brand can measure up.
Ethos: The Character of your Brand
Is your brand credible? That is important. With Generation Y coming to maturity, research by public relations firm Edelman and research company Strategy One stated that credibility and character of a brand is one of the most important reasons they choose a brand. If your brand is portraying an honest image of itself and the people who champion it,you should be good in this category.
If not, fix it. Transparency (that dreaded buzz word of the decade) falls into this arena. Don’t hide anything that is not worth hiding. Tell the unwanted details before your brand gets damaged. Because in that same report, the companies said that Millennials are far less likely to return to a brand after being treated unfairly.
Pathos: The Emotional Approach of Your Brand
Now when it came to rhetoric, Aristotle would have argued that Ethos was the most important aspect. If a communicator wasn’t believed to be seen as credible and ethical, then they are doomed to fail. I would argue that when it comes to branding, pathos is just as important to ethos. If your brand cannot establish an emotional connection with your audience, you are doomed to fall into the “Commodity Zone”, or “Convenience Land”. And that is a land where brands go to die.
Does your brand entice the playful side of people? The romantic side? Does your brand make men more manly, and women strong, yet feminine? What words do people associate with your brand? Answering these questions will help your brand develop a solid pathos.
Logos: Just the Facts, Ma’am.
I believe that logos goes hand in hand with ethos. If you have sound reasoning, then your audiences would tend to believe that you are telling the truth. The marketing and advertising industry has been viciously attacked by the general public, the government, and more because of a few- though loud- unethical practitioners. So it is quite unfortunate when “truth in advertising” becomes a punchline.
No doubt your brand’s audience will contain a remnant who doesn’t care about the company, nor its appeal to emotions. The cold-cut “what’s in it for me” deal. Will your brand help me, or not? When it comes to branding, this area isn’t harped on too often, because building a personality doesn’t wholly appeal to the brain. Logos in branding will act like an umbrella for your brand’s pathos and ethos. It will make sure that all the efforts in the previous two arenas complement the overall objective.
A Solid Argument
Applying ethos, pathos and logos to your brand’s argument to your audience can be very effective.
But like in a well-written speech, it’s all about the delivery.