She’s ruined “joy” for the rest of us…

I’m just going to step right out there and say it: Marie Kondo has made it impossible for anyone else to say that something should “spark joy” without being seen as a copycat.

But that’s okay. We should all be trying to find that one phrase that will be linked so closely with our business that no one can hear it without thinking about our business.

I’m thinking about this because I recently saw someone use the hashtag #sparkjoy on one of their posts.

Using someone else’s key brand phrase as a hashtag can accomplish two things. The first is not a problem – anyone checking out this popular hashtag could potentially see your post. Great! Right?

Well… the second thing that can happen is more problematic – by using someone else’s key brand phrase, you are making people think about that other brand, and you are muddling what your brand actually stands for.

Key phrases are different from a tagline or motto (FYI – Marie Kondo’s actual tagline on her website is “Tidy your space, transform your life.). Key phrases are specific word combinations that you use when referring to one of your products or services.

For example, when you see me talking about how my book Branding for Beginners helps you create a Brand Style Guide, you will always see me say that “it’s like a cheat sheet for the way you talk about your business.” And when I talk about copy editing, I frequently use the phrase “consistently on brand.”

If you need help coming up with key messages for your brand, you can read my free guide “6 Ways to Leverage Your Brand Story to Connect with Your Ideal Client” (if you don’t have a copy yet, click here). You’ll find some tips in there for coming up with key messages.