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Words really do matter, especially when it comes to marketing. The right words can influence purchasing decisions for the better, whereas the wrong ones can isolate your customer base. And the last thing you want is for people to tune out when you’re making your marketing pitch, or, worse yet, lose the sale simply because of poor word choice.

If you want to portray that you’re an innovative company, showcase that in your marketing strategy, and avoid clichés and buzzwords as much as possible.

If you’re still not convinced that many buzzwords have lived past their prime, consider the fact that Inc, Forbes, and Small Business Trends have all provided lists of these clichés to warn marketers.

Here are some buzzwords to avoid to help break you out of your marketing rut and start putting forth a message that your company can be proud of.

An Innovative Box of Synergy-Sucking Buzzwords

If you’re still using “synergy”, you may lack synergy with the rest of the marketing world. High up on the list of worst clichés (possibly ever), even Wikipedia describes it as an “often meaningless buzzword used by corporate leaders.” So if you want to put some more meaning into your marketing, steer clear of this one. 

Thinking Outside the Box: Given the fact that everyone seems to be thinking outside the box nowadays, one has to wonder if there’s even anyone inside it anymore. Avoid this cliché at all costs. In the wise words of Nike, if you really want to start thinking outside the box, just do it.

Disruptive / Innovative / Groundbreaking / Transformative / Revolutionary / Cutting-Edge / Game-Changer: These terms ought to be called the Seven Deadly Synonyms. If you position your product or service effectively, you won’t need to tell anyone that it’s disruptive, innovative, groundbreaking, transformative, revolutionary, cutting-edge, or a game-changer. Just like the golden rule of storytelling, “show, don’t tell.” 

Thought Leader / Guru / Visionary / Rock Star / Ninja: These terms present the same problems as the Seven Deadly Synonyms; let your work speak for itself. If you really are a thought leader or a visionary, that will quickly become obvious without you needing to toot your own horn.

Uber of X / Google of X / Facebook of X: Unless you’re a multi-billion-dollar corporation, don’t make any false claims without the evidence to back them up. Instead of using over-inflated language that’s over-promising, showcase your strengths honestly.

Interactive: Do you find yourself frequently describing your products as “interactive”? You’re not alone. In fact, it’s more rare that things aren’t interactive nowadays, so skip this one altogether, as it’s essentially redundant at this point.

How Words Can Make a Difference

Word choice is a critical factor to consider throughout your marketing efforts. If you really want to grab the attention of your prospects and customers and market to the best of your ability, do something that is truly innovative/visionary/groundbreaking without putting an unecessary label on it.

And who knows? By setting a new standard in innovation, you may even develop some effective buzzwords of your own!