Branding Outside the Box: Avoid the Jargon Pitfall

Jargon is not a solid building block for any brand.
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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.

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