Only the writers can save us now
I bought some veg from Ant and Dec over the weekend. Well, not directly from them. They’ve lent their voices to M&S’s self-checkout machines. But what they definitely haven’t lent M&S is their personality. Dec asked me to “Please insert your card” while the person at the checkout next to me got a “Card accepted” […]
An unhealthy obsession
What’s with the latest generation of brand buzzwords? Here are some things I enjoy: cooking. Reading fiction. Walking up big hills. Here are some things that delight me: sausage dogs. Pastéis de nata. Christmas Day. Here’s something I’m obsessed with: checking the weather forecast. I very rarely think: ‘I really enjoyed my broadband speeds last […]
Symbols sell: what a green easter egg made me think about belonging
You might’ve heard it on the news or seen them on the shelves; Waitrose are re-releasing their chocolate avocado for Easter. It looks like this. At first, this perplexed me. It seems to be targeting a particular audience with the broad brush strokes a lot of people are tired of: ‘think millennials, think avocados’. My […]
No writer’s an island
Growing up, I hated getting feedback on my writing (whether it was something I’d written for school or the latest story I was making up). I’d got it into my head that I had to do absolutely everything myself and that getting help was ‘cheating’. I was convinced you could either write well or you […]
Why our money’s on Up for Review to win the 2019 Grand National
It’s Grand National weekend again, which means it’s time for us to use some ever-so-slightly spurious behavioural science to help you choose a horse that’s been underrated by the bookies. It works like this: imagine there are two horses in the race. One’s called The Winner, the other’s called The Loser. The first horse is […]
Schwexperiment #1: Does alliteration have magical powers?
At Schwa HQ, hardly a day goes by without someone talking about the rhyme-as-reason effect. In a nutshell: if a statement rhymes, you’re more likely to think it’s true. (Think: A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play.) But is the phenomenon limited to rhyme? We had a sneaky suspicion the effect of […]
Time to redefine your brand voice?
When I started as a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed business writer, my tone of voice projects felt different from how they feel today. Back then, it was often about proving that almost everyone prefers natural writing to formality, or explaining there wasn’t really that much of a distinction between ‘B2B’ and ‘B2C’. Fast forward to 2019, and […]
Could a mantra change your company culture?
Knowing ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ might encourage you to eat more healthily. But could a mantra change the way people behave at work, too? We think it could. What’s a business mantra? It’s any phrase or saying that’s easy to repeat and sticks in people’s heads. Used well, it’s a subtle […]