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.
Best of Breed
Convergence of ____
Insight / Insightful
Low Hanging Fruit
One Stop Shop
Out of the Box