July 1 is Canada’s 150th anniversary. For those readers of my blog who are not from Canada, the historical moment we commemorate is Confederation when a number of politicians in 1867 signed a document that bound a loose collection of provinces controlled by the British Empire into a somewhat vague and discontented unity. Continue reading “Happy 150th birthday Canada! Let’s Celebrate!”
Unique, one-of-a-kind, best-of-breed and on it goes. We see this type of marketing speak over and over in marketing materials. And let’s be honest, we’ve all used it at one time or another. When you’re writing about your own program product or service, it’s easy to fall into the habit of hype and hyperbole. It’s understandable. After all, ultimately you’re hoping your ad, pitch, brochure, email or website marketing copy will capture attention and get readers to do something. So, you have to impress with your words.
However, you are probably well aware that your audiences are more skeptical today, than ever before. Everyone has become more attuned to marketing and promotion efforts. Many marketing adjectives are so used that the words no longer have any real meaning. In fact, they do nothing except maybe hurt your reputation and that of the products and services you are selling.
Mike Williams of Ring Partners suggests that you think twice before using these “fluff” words in your marketing
Advanced: This word is applied to nearly everything from advanced technology to advanced ingredients. This word is a prime example of being overused to the point that all value has been eroded.
Best: Using this word really makes marketers look dumb. You’re much better off letting your audience figure this one out. Instead of saying that you’re the best, get a quote from someone else who compares you to your competitors and labels you as the best.
Cutting Edge: This phrase is absolutely done. Anytime this is used it just sounds like drivel. Your audience will look over this and their eyes will literally glaze over.
Bleeding edge: This is a favorite in the technology industry. Apparently when “cutting edge” wasn’t enough, marketers started using “bleeding edge.”
Exclusive: Really? How do you plan to make any money if your product is that exclusive? Unless you are marketing your services as being available to only one person, whatever you’re selling isn’t really exclusive.
Groundbreaking: (or its cousins, breakthrough and late-breaking): Unless your product is up to par with the iPhone, sliced bread, or the Model T Ford this label isn’t really applicable. Very few products are actually groundbreaking. Don’t claim to be this when you know that’s really not the case.
Pioneering: This term always elicits lots of eye rolls. Unless you’ve got groundbreaking research to back up your product, or your product has never been available in any form or fashion, steer clear of using this unimpressive word.
Revolutionary: This term isn’t only overused, it’s inappropriate. Unless your product or service has resulted in starting a revolution, you shouldn’t be adding this to your list of marketing adjectives.
Unique: Yes, all marketers think their product or service is special. But like the term best, it’s better if you let your audience come to this conclusion. Try describing features and benefits instead of claiming uniqueness. Claiming originality rarely convinces anyone.
It’s true that most marketing professionals have been guilty of using these phrases and terms at one point or another, and sometimes even after being warned, these words often sneak through.
However, being aware of these marketing faux pas will help you avoid using these terms when you make a pitch or publish content. Frankly using these type of words amounts to “lazy marketing”. Your audience will always see right through this.
I’ll be the first to admit that as a marketer I’ve used these words a number of times in my writing throughout the years, and sometimes they still sneak through. But as long as you’re aware, you can hopefully catch yourself before you publish a piece of content about your groundbreaking, revolutionary program, product or service.
There was a report in the world news that someone in Pakistan had placed an ad in a newspaper with an offer of a reward to anyone who killed a Canadian-any Canadian. Who in God’s name would want to kill a peace-loving people like Canadians kind of boggles my mind but I guess there are a lot of unbalanced people out there.
Any way according to this item I read (which unfortunately does not have a source) an Australian dentist wrote the following editorial to help define what a Canadian is, so that they would know one when they found one. Here is what he wrote.
” A Canadian can be English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. A Canadian can be Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Australian, Iranian, Asian, Arab, Pakistani or Afghan.
A Canadian may also be a Cree, Metis, Mohawk, and Blackfoot, Sioux or one of the many tribes known as native Canadians. (Note he forgot our northern neighbors the Inuit). A Canadian religious beliefs range from Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or none. In fact there are more Muslims in Canada than in Afghanistan. The key difference is that in Canada, they are free to worship as each of them chooses. Whether they have a religion or no religion, each Canadian ultimately answers only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God. A Canadian lives in one of the most prosperous lands in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which recognizes the right of each person to the pursuit of happiness.
A Canadian is generous and Canadians have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need, never asking a thing in return. Canadians welcome the best of everything, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best services and the best minds. But they also welcome the least,-the oppressed, the outcast and the rejected. These are the people who build Canada.
You can try to kill a Canadian if you must, as other blood- thirsty tyrants in the world have tried but, in doing so, you could just be killing a relative or a neighbor. This is because Canadians are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, can be Canadian. “
Happy Canada Day !