“For sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn”

This is perhaps the most famous six-word story ever written.
Think about it – in just six words the author (often thought to be Hemmingway) evokes the sadness and emptiness of losing a baby. It’s proof that six well-selected words can be as powerful as a novel.

As people today increasingly consume information in tiny little ‘information snacks’ (as opposed to ‘meals’ like this one), it is critical for you to think about how you tell your brand story, evoke emotion, and do so with the fewest words possible.

What are your six-word stories?

Every brand communicator, marketer, and corporate communicator needs to ask themselves this question every day, every time they want to communicate. This will eliminate the fluff and force you to get to the point. By dropping all of the marketing speak and adjectives that drag out your message, your communications will be remembered, more effective, and on top of everything, your audiences will appreciate it.
And, if you want to further increase the impact and memorability – use powerful imagery to help tell the brand story. It will personalize the information and evoke emotion. And emotion drives action.

“People retain 65 percent of information when paired with imagery vs. 10 percent without,” according to Brain Rules. Pairing your six words with the right image can dramatically improve the impact of your six-word stories. Just think about it – are your six words a life and death issue? Use a picture to help your audience feel the drama and the urgency. Is it going to save or make money? An image will help underscore what you want to achieve. Are you trying to create a celebration or bring someone to action? Use an image that helps to stir that emotion and therefore the action you desire.

Communicating with few words and brand-compliant imagery doesn’t need to be technically difficult. Platforms like Inkbench ensure that the brand is protected and visually reinforced with powerful imagery so that you can communicate with confidence while evoking emotion. The challenge however is communicating with the fewest words for the greatest impact. I’m not saying it’s easy – just what everyone needs to strive to achieve to tell their best brand stories in today’s world.

Here’s my challenge to you: no matter what you need to communicate today, try to do it in six words. Then try to create one six-word brand story every day. Start on social media where you can see the impact in shares and likes, then try it in all of your communications. You’ll be surprised how few words you really need to convey your key point. You’ll be happy with the result and so will your audience.

For extra credit, try to add an image or two to make your six words even more memorable and impactful. You’ll be amazed by a difference the right image can make. An image speaks 1000 words – remember?

Six words can change your life.