Why Buzzwords can be bad for business

One definition of buzzwords is that they are words or phrases that sound important or technical and are used primarily to impress people. In other words, buzzwords are vague terms that explain nothing because you have no idea what you really mean.

Does that sound harsh? Well how often do you hear these buzzwords?

  1. Networking
  2. Best practice
  3. Synergies
  4. Engagement
  5. Transparency
  6. Real time
  7. Flexible
  8. Dynamic
  9. Cutting edge
  10. Leading
  11. Innovative
  12. Smart
  13. Leverage
  14. Ground breaking
  15. Scalable
  16. Proactive
  17. Turnkey
  18. Stakeholders
  19. Cross-platform
  20. Customer-centric
  21. Solutions


How often do we see these terms bandied around and how many times do we use them ourselves?

As an example, what do you actually mean when you say that your business is flexible or dynamic? So you promote transparency within your business? Networking is an effective strategy promoted by management? Your business is a leading organization in ground breaking and innovative software, emphasising cross-platform functionality and focusing on customer-centric solutions?

Thanks for that - I did not understand one single word. If you really want people to buy your products or services, you need to stop using buzzwords and tell people exactly what you can offer them and how you can solve their problems.

Buzzwords are just smoke and mirrors that make you feel good; using the latest hot words in the industry might sound trendy, but if you alienate and confuse customers, how hot are they really?

Solutions. This is a word that is so overused, we really need a solution to using the word solutions. A quick Google search using the keyword solutions found the following:


  • Solutions Outsourced
  • Staff Solutions Australia
  • Managed IT Solutions
  • Collaborative Solutions Program
  • QMI Solutions
  • Solutions Design
  • COS Design
  • Design Solutions
  • Green Design Solutions
  • Solar Solutions
  • Smart Design Solutions
  • Plumbing Solutions
  • Flooring Solutions

Do you really know what any of these businesses actually do? Or how they can help you? It’s also a safe bet that their marketing material uses the term solutions extensively.

The solution to using buzzwords

Explain yourself. That’s the solution. It is OK to use any of these buzzwords, if you have explained your services or products clearly. So if you have done an excellent job in explaining your products or services and the reader or customer is clearly able to understand what you offer, then using the term solutions to help summarise your offerings is fine.

The take home message is to replace every single buzzword in your marketing materials with real words that explain what that buzzword is hiding. If you can’t do that, then clearly you do not know your business, product or service as well as you should.

So I will leave you with this final thought - In business, communication is the key to creating a synergistic, proactive and engaging ecosystem within which we can leverage the written word and create transparent customer-centric solutions using best practice and cutting edge technology that is both flexible and dynamic. How good is that?

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