A Guest post by Shannon Olona
How do you foster a loyal brand following? By taking the time to know your brand and communicating that story with the right words. So when you’re uninspired, misguided, or just pressed for time with a launch, you may lean a little on the tried and true cliche to get your story across as quickly as possible. But, the problem with using cliche words and phrases like “making the world a better place” means that your website is camouflaged amongst all the other “authentic” brands out there. So for those laying out the foundation of your brand, be sure to avoid these words in your web copy if you want to be noticed.
The Game Changers
We often fall prey to game changer words when writing mission statements. These are the words like “revolutionize” or “disrupt” that lead us to believe that this business is turning the industry upside down with their product or service.
Unless you are inventing something like the printing press or the internet, your new wine rating app may not be as disruptive as you think. Instead, look at what your business does for your ideal client, not the industry at large. If your wine rating app provides recommendations based off users’ unique taste profiles and previous purchases, lead with the fact that the app is specifically-tailored to the consumer.
The phrase “making the world a better place” is also thrown around as a catch-all greater purpose for businesses. HBO’s Silicon Valley does a great job poking fun pokes at this phrase n their Techcrunch Disrupt Parody. So really think those game-changing words over. Will your wine app make the world a better place or will it make your evening better when you can select a bottle of wine in half the amount of time it usually takes you?
These buzzwords creep up the most in our marketing because we believe it’s what people want to hear – recycled and comforting business nonsense. Most notably the word “synergy” comes to mind. All it means is to collaborate to create something bigger and it has become a joke buzzword.
The same should be said about phrases like “best in class,” “cutting-edge” and “easy to use.” They’re just overused corporate superlatives to say the product is better, innovative, and simple. But if nonsense words are what you want, here’s a fun corporate buzzword generator that’ll spit them out for you.
In order to sound relatable and approachable, sometimes you’ll find trendy words thrown into web copy to sound “with it.” But these words are trendy for a reason, everyone is saying them in a short amount of time and they lose their excitement very quickly. Words like “lit”, “extra”, “low-key”, and “fam”.” If your reader has to consult with a teen to understand what “trill” is (that’s true and real fyi) then it should be left off the site.
And then there are words like “authentic” that every brand wants to use. Using “authentic” can be a way to validate a business as being real, approachable, and vulnerable. Thesauruses can’t even help you out of this because for as many “authentic” brands out there, there are half as many “genuine” ones. In fact, we know the only genuine brand out there is R&B artist, Ginuwine.
How to Find the Right Words
To be an authentic brand is more than just saying you are “authentic.” It’s about looking inside, at the real heart behind the brand and knowing what drives your business. Once you know your brand voice, you can write honestly according to your brand across your mission statements, web copy, and marketing strategies. When you know your your voice, you’ll hardly struggle to find the right words. But then again, you can always call on a copywriter to help you out if the going gets tough.