Some words and phrases are used so much in marketing, advertising and public relations that they have lost their original power.
New is an obvious one, but enhanced, improved and innovative have also become almost meaningless. How often do official enquiries conclude that “lessons have been learnt”, only for organisations to make the same mistakes again?
When we feel we’ve heard it all before, our response can be to turn off, stop listening and, if we’re trapped in a conference or presentation, even nod off to sleep.
This creates a challenge when marketing products and services, especially when you do have a genuinely new or improved product and your audience has become immune to hyperbole.
What can you do? One answer is to aim for a balance of fresh, upbeat messages that reflect your products realistically. Use language itself to create a lively atmosphere by developing an active voice (eg saying you do something rather than that it was done to you), by cutting out unnecessary words and avoiding clichés.
While it’s harder work than using safe but tired words and phrases, the extra effort can produce messages that really are exciting, grab the attention of customers and persuade them to buy. When they’re enjoying themselves, people can be readier to pay attention to your message and take it in.
They’ll certainly be more responsive than if they were asleep.