The Anatomy Of A Buzzword

Last Updated on October 7, 2021

Dressed to impress, immensely popular, and markedly more simplistic than what they describe; buzzwords have been around for nearly as long as advertising and marketing.

It’s not terribly difficult to see why. They’re easy to use, and go a long way towards dressing up one’s speech. They’re immediately recognizable, and can occasionally give the illusion that one knows what they’re talking about—even if they don’t.

See, Buzzwords, are… well—for lack of a better description—they’re glamorous. They’re easily recognizable and easy to use. In the right hands, they can most definitely be used to draw in more consumers; they can invoke ideas, concepts, and notions about a brand, which one might not otherwise conceive.

Most hands aren’t the right hands.

Buzzwords tend to ring hollow all too often. They tend to feel clumsy, confusing, and, dare I say ‘salesy.’ Agencies that fall back on buzzwords to distinguish themselves might thus be perceived as doing so because, they have no other unique or distinguishing features. It’s for this reason that I’d caution any brand against trying to create their own. If they find their customers are starting to use buzzwords, so be it; but such terms should almost never stem from the organization itself.

Buzzwords cloud over personality and make it difficult to get to the core of what a brand is about.

Let’s focus our thoughts a bit more. As I’ve said on several occasions, social media is all about making real, personal connections with one’s customers. It’s about telling the consumer a story that will draw them in and fascinate them. It’s about a brand’s personality and attitude, about how that brand is perceived by its demographics. Buzzwords cloud over that personality; they more often than not make it far too difficult for customers to get to the core of what a brand is about.

A brand that communicates primarily through buzzwords isn’t going to be favorably perceived by consumers. People will likely as not regard them merely as someone who’s trying to sell them something. Instead of communicating and engaging with such a brand, they’ll likely filter out that brand’s messages.

So how exactly does this relate to event planning?

Simple: if you’re running an event, you want to stay as far away from buzzwords as possible. Event planners, as natural storytellers, need to be able to get their point across without falling back on ‘easy outs.’ They need to be able to describe what they’re doing, who they are, and what they want to accomplish without having to resort to rhetoric.

More than that, they need to be able to make a good first impression both on attendees and potential attendees. The best way to do this is by being genuine and allowing one’s unique personality to shine through, by giving people something to relate to. By their nature, buzzwords don’t generally allow for that sense of being relatable, nor do they convey any sort of personality. I might even go so far as to say they’re the marketing equivalent of a cliché; Big Data or Bleeding Edge might as well be platitudes about putting all your eggs in one basket or judging a book by its cover.

Buzzwords have been around for as long as marketing; they’re always going to carry with them a certain degree of popularity. At the same time, though, that doesn’t mean you have to use them. Truth be told, you shouldn’t use them, and if you’re genuinely concerned with making a good first impression—and giving customers a positive perception of your brand or event—you’ll avoid them like the plague.