Skip to main content

Most Overused Marketing Terms

A few years ago, Jason Cohen posted in his blog (A Smart Bear)  "Authentic" is dead, in which he goes on to say that some words have been used so often, that they have actually lost all meaning.  Well, that got me thinking, since I help a lot of start ups, and do a lot of marketing, branding, and word-smithing along the way, I thought I would build upon Jason's observations and do my own little survey.  So, I compiled a list of 43 words (see THE LIST below) that I see used over, and over, and over again, and asked my little network of people (colleagues, friends, business partners, etc.), what they though were the most overused.  Well, 1351 people responded, and out of the list of 43, there are five that stand out as the most overused. With 1351 respondents the percentage indication is in parenthesis.  The most overused terms  include: Innovative (54.5%); Cost Effective (43.0%); Low Hanging Fruit (42.8%); Out of the Box (42.6%); and Best of Breed (41.8%).

Most of the other terms highlighted as being overused between 33% to 10% of the time. The least overused terms include WOW, Single Source, Prestigious, Maven, Craftsmanship and Fanatical Support.  Needless to say, these results are not at all what I expected, but are interesting nonetheless.


Click here if you want to see the spreadsheet.

THE LIST
All-Star
Authentic
Best of Breed
Convergence of ____
Core Competency
Cost Effective
Craftsmanship
Disruptive
Easy
Expert
Fanatical Support
Fast
Generation X
Genuine
Guru
Innovative
Insight / Insightful
Low Hanging Fruit
Maven
Ninja
One Stop Shop
Open
Organic
Out of the Box
Paradigm Shift
Powerful
Prestigious
Profound
Proven
Quality
Reliable
Responsive
Revolutionary
Rock Star
Secure
Simple
Single Source
Solution
Synergy
Transparent
Unique
Win-Win
WOW

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Moldy Middle

While taking statistics during my quest to get an MBA and while earning my engineering degree, the professors always emphasized the importance of finding the statistical mean of any population by using the Central Mean Theorem (a.k.a the highest point of the Bell Curve).
As an engineer, this was essential in order to maximize throughput, minimize cost and waste, and ultimately make a better, faster, cheaper widget. A funny thing happened on the way to the dark side of marketing. I discovered that the only thing in the middle of the road was quite literally dead road kill.
I do not know if you remember stores like Bradlees, Ames and Service Merchandise (just to name a few), but they all folded because the environment changed and they were caught trying to service the mythological “average customer.”
Part of that change came when Wal-Mart began its juggernaut with the discount department store. Wal-Mart did two things right: 1) Focused on “mobile” consumers, and 2) Focused on offering g…

Lupercalia and St. Valentine's Day

OK, I just could not resist this: Romance, sex, orgies, wolves, and martyrdom all under one legend. Oh my, what a day we have!!! We might celebrate romance and sweethearts on this day, but boy, the Romans really knew how to party. While history is fun, it is also interesting to know how some things never change (like falling in love and celebrating it!). Happy St. Valentine’s and Lupercalia. May you celebrate it at your heart’s content with someone who has stolen or whom you have given your heart away!  Lupercalia is uniquely Roman. It harkens back to the days when Rome was nothing more than a few shepherds living on a hill known as Palantine and was surrounded by wilderness teeming with wolves. The name comes from lupus, or the latin form of wolf, that celebrates the founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus (as they were suckled by a she-wolf). 
Another thought is that Lupercus, protector of flocks against wolves, is a likely candidate for the name. In any case, there is no question abou…

The Saleman's Litmus Test

If your goal is to become a great company or even improve your existing one, every employee in you company should be able to “sell” the product or service that you are merchandising. Since that is usually not the case, you are forced to hire sales people to help implement the objectives laid out by upper management.

A national study indicated that less than 3% of the population has an inherent penchant for sales, and as much as 50% of all salespeople really do not know how to sell. During my 20 odd years in sales, I have hired, worked with, and observed great sales people (yes, both men and women). Being the observant type and believing in best practices, I have complied a listing of questions you should ask any salesperson before you hire them, and should use this Litmus Test to review of your existing sales force to determine whether to keep them or cut them loose.  I hope you find it useful.

Psyching Out the Test: People always try to answer questions the way they think you want th…