Using Military Techniques To Create Effective Brand Communication


When you are in the military, you only have one try to get a job done right. So when the military is trying to communicate or understand the psychologies of specific groups, it is imperative that they ensure their information and targeting is accurate and successful. Imagine if this were the same for paid advertising. A little dramatic, but, what if you could no longer say, “well, there’s always a next time to get it right?” Things would probably go a little differently. In the military’s case, the implications could be deadly.

With this perspective in mind, one London-based branding strategy consultancy, Verbalisation, is using a military technique to create marketing strategies for their clients. More specifically, it utilizes special ops psychological and verbal analysis as a foundation for brand communication. Verbalisation focuses entirely on verbal to provide a deep psychological profile of a client’s audience. With this information, they are then able to drive more creative and effective conversions. The main difference that this technique has over the norm is that the depth of analysis is no longer visual. Instead, all of the strategy and analysis is based on verbal.

Alex Van Gestel, CEO of the consultancy, came from a background where the visual was the most dominant aspect of branding strategy and analysis. Today, however, “the world is becoming very cluttered,” said Van Gestel. He went on to say, “Even the verbal space, with the amount of messages you get every day, is becoming saturated.” With that said, marketers understand they need to be more creative in order to get the results they want.

Using this technique, Verbalisation is able to understand the kind of language needed to best convert their client’s target audience. Of course, the success of this technique purely depends on the kind of data that is available to the client. With that said, once there is enough data to analyze, the consultancy then applies it to 24 parameters in order to draw conclusions for their target audience.

These 24 parameters divvied into 4 quadrants: environment, flow, cognition, and lexicon. Within each quadrant, there are 6 parameters that are designed to draw parallels with one another as a way to validate findings within each quadrant.

The 4 Quadrants Are As Follows:

  • Environment Identify whether the context of communication is social, cultural, or legislative
  • Flow: Identify how that communication is received and shared
  • Cognition: Identify what psychological traits are driving behavior and language
  • Lexicon: Identify what words are being used and what they mean

In the military, this is called RAID (Rapid Audience Insight Diagnostic). Originally a manual process, RAID is now completely automated through software to analyze specific groups of individuals. This is why Van Gestel believes this is applicable to marketing in that it will accurately depict effective messaging for any client’s audience. Using this analysis, they will be able to know what to say, where to say it, why to say it, and to whom to say it to.

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