Considering English is my second language, which I learned consciously as a young adult, it sometimes affords me an opportunity think about commonly used words differently, “bare bones”, stripped of layers of differences they acquired over time based on the context they’ve been used in. So, even though I know better, the other day, it occurred to me, discrimination and exclusivity basically mean the same thing.

One comes from the verb “to exclude” – prevent from being considered or accepted, create barrier or prevent from entry.

The verb for for other one is “to discriminate” – to make a distinction in favor of or against someone or something based on real or perceived difference.

Yet the effect these two close words have on our emotions is entirely different;

One word can send our mind wandering, dreaming of a spacious white sandy beach somewhere in Bora Bora. It can give us incentives to line up in front of the store for hours to be the very first owner of that new iPhone, or makes us willingly part with an extra-orbital amount of money for that brand name simple white shirt. All in the search for that elusive feeling of exclusivity, as long as we personally happen to be inside that special cozy circle, keeping the rest of the world outside.

The latter creates a sense of injustice, rage and emotional injury. The glass ceiling, racism, nepotism, chauvinism, agism, sexism, fatism, ableism and the list goes on. All of these words have a strong potential to set off a powerful emotional response. The chat rooms around the internet are there to prove it.

The antonym to both of these words is basically the same – to include, to accept.

How does this relate to marketing your business; It shows that framing, context and the choice of the right words (even if they have the same meaning) matter. The angle you present your product, service or investment opportunity may seem a trivial element. These small differences in the choice of words, creative design and imagery are all part of the communication processes and have a very strong impact on your bottom line.

This applies even to businesses who believe they compete for their customers on price alone. The matter of fact is, you never compete solely on price and never will. For a transaction to take place, there always have to be a form of emotional engagement, regardless if you are selling directly to clients or to another business.

Positioning yourself well and representing yourself consistently with a set of coherent symbols (relevant logos, colours, design elements, tone of voice) unique to you can really strengthen your position in the market place.

Oblique Technique develops communication solutions that are strategically sound and are fitted for your business in particular. Be it a strong website, relevant logo, attractive packaging, impactful brochures, eye catching photography; the right communications can dignify and elevate the experience of purchases giving you easier access to your customers — the life-blood of your business.

If you would like to discuss ways Oblique Technique can help with your communications and therefore sales, we would be happy to be of service.

On behalf of the team at Oblique Technique,

Lubica Parilakova, Principal