Branding Outside the Box: Avoid the Jargon Pitfall

digital red box

Language is a critical component of any brand. The words you use to describe your company, your offering, your clients and even your own people can have a profound impact on how key audiences think about your firm.

We were reminded of the impact that language can have during a recent rebranding project for one of our clients, a global tech company that offers an innovative tablet-based marketing and sales platform. The majority of their success had largely been in the pharma industry, but they needed a brand that could help them succeed in new vertical markets. Their messaging, meant to appeal to the pharma audience, was full of language and terms specific to the pharma industry. However, what they didn’t realize – and what we discovered through research – was that in cramming key messages with jargon meaningful only to the pharma industry, they were actually alienating prospects in other industries, who could use their revolutionary sales platform, but did not even know it fit their needs. As we built their new brand platform, we expanded their core messaging, using language that would resonate with all target industries. As a result, the firm could better communicate the versatility of its unique offering with clarity and impact.

Jargon is not a solid building block for any brand. This is an important lesson, especially for firms looking to expand into new vertical or geographic markets. Using the words specific to a particular industry or profession can lead to easy categorization, and therefore alienate certain audiences. Terms that may be meaningful within one industry may not have any significance in another — using high level messaging that is not focused on jargon but rather on a truly unique value proposition can help any firm expand into different markets and define their offering in a way that does not box them into a certain category.

Share This

Beating Goliath: How Challenger Brands Can Win

Often, when mid-size companies compete with their industry’s larger, global power players, they overcompensate by highlighting the ways in which their offerings are just as broad and deep as their multi-national competitors’. As a result, these companies – the challenger brands – often get lost in the shadows of the behemoths because they can…

The Important Distinction Between Simplifying and Dumbing Down

In this post, we explore the first principle of branding technology firms, adapted from our chapter on building long-term value in a system-update world in the Brand Challenge.

It seems that B2B technology brands come in two flavors: complicated or complex. The line between the two seems faint, but in the tech industry…

Launching a New Product? Think Beyond The Ad Campaign

Earlier this year we helped a top-10 ETF firm launch an innovative new investment product. From the beginning, it was clear the firm’s leadership saw an ad campaign as the means to an effective launch. During our initial conversations, they wanted to jump right into creative concepts. That might have been the right…