Buzzy Equals Bland: Why Buzzwords Should be Banned from Marketing


What’s the buzz on buzzwords?

Too many trendy words and over-hyped catch phrases makes for meaningless ‘me too’ marketing. Words like “innovative”, “authentic” and “out-of-the-box” at one time or another became so overused that their meaning got lost.

There is nothing innovative about using ‘innovative’ to describe your business. Chances are if you need to reassure your audience of your ‘authenticity’ then you need to do a morality check. And if the most ‘out-of-the-box’ thing you can say about your company is to use that catch phrase of days gone by, best to stay in the box.

The best-case scenario you come across at as corporate copycats who are unable to come up with their own creative marketing. The worst is that your buzzy buzzwords make for bland and boring marketing that confuses rather than inspires your target audience.

Does Your Marketing Pass the Buzzword Test?

#1: Does It Say Something? A sure sign of buzzwords is marketing that says nothing or what it says can be said about almost any business. Take this gem: “Innovative Solutions for Business”. It could apply to printers or consulting or almost anything that solves any of the zillions of problems, big or small, that businesses encounter.

#2: Does It Sound Like Everyone Else? The reason “Out of the Box” anything became meaningless is everyone was using it. Literally no one was spending any time in the box, according to the marketing. Everyone was running around outside the dang box doing everything BUT being original.

#3: Is It Easily Understandable? The trouble with buzzwords is they tend to rely on the meaning behind the buzzword, making it complete gibberish those not-in-the-know (which tends to be the majority of people as buzzwords tend to be industry-specific or insular).

A Final Word on Buzzwords…

The best approach to creating compelling marketing is to start by simply explaining what you do, how you do it and why it matters to your target audience in plain old boring English. No fuss. No frills. And definitely no buzzwords. From there, add a bit of flourish and flare, but never sacrifice the core message.

Think of your core message as what you would share with your target audience if they were sitting across the table from you at a local coffee shop because chances are you would never say something as vague and meaningless as “We offer innovative solutions for business”.


About Author

Carla Young, Publisher If there’s living proof that women can have it all – and then some – it’s Carla Young. Building her multiple businesses on a virtual work-at-home model, Carla is an inspiration to other mothers who want to start a lifestyle business. During her early days as a mom entrepreneur, Carla made every single mistake in the book (and a few new ones for good measure). Realizing that “doing it all” was unhealthy and unsustainable, Carla started by getting organized to the extreme, developing support systems for both her work and family. After other mothers started asking how they too could enjoy her lifestyle, Carla launched to support moms at work, at home and at play (because every mommy deserves a little me-time)!


  1. Very good point, Carla. I love the post. You can even read every mission statement and would find a bunch of words and phrases that sounds like every other company.

  2. Agreed. I use these when helping clients with their identities, especially the business cards. Between b.s. job titles and bogus taglines, will the customer have a clue who you are, what you can do, or how you can help THEM? If the answer is no, it’s way to much buzz. FWIW.

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