If you are not Indian, chances are when I say Chacha you will think of a type of latin dance. Although it is technically called the "cha-cha-cha" it's the more widespread meaning. If you WERE Indian, however, you would know that Chacha means Uncle. Actually, it means a lot more than Uncle. When I call someone Chacha, anyone who heard me would know not only that that person was my Uncle, but that my relation to him was on my father's side, and that he was younger than my father. All that information is transferred in a single word. Tau or Tauji is similar, but used as the word for what to call the same Uncle if he is older than my father.  Similar names exist on the mother's side and for the older generation of grandparents. Even siblings use the words "bhaiyya" (for older brother) and "didi" (for older sister).

Sound like a foreign and confusing system? Consider that the next time you walk into a Starbucks and order a Grande instead of a medium or a Venti instead of a small. Starbucks is one retail outlet that has their own lingo. Sit down at any Waffle House in a Southern US state and you can order your hash browns "scattered, smothered, and covered." If you've been there, you'll know what that means. 

The point is, there is a power in creating your own language that relates deeply to having your own culture. Countries and cultures have their own words that exist as a part their cultural identity. They signify a shared knowledge and basis for communication. Starbucks, on a smaller scale, has created the same thing.  What types of words does your company use that are unique to it? More importantly, are those used as a part of your company's culture internally or are they used to share an insider's language with your customers as well? Only brands with loyal and passionate customers come close to having their own language. What are you doing to create yours?

Posted via email from rohitbhargava’s posterous