Are You a Jargon Junkie?


The other day, I was discussing one of my pet peeves with a senior officer of a top global corporation: jargon-laced branding. I mentioned a few examples from techdom: Web 2.0, 3G, 4G, cloud, and SaaS. At this point, he sheepishly asked me, “Exactly what is a cloud?”

Bingo. I told him he had made my point.

Yet, the perpetuators of jargon are completely unaware how many “victims” of jargon don’t comprehend it, like it, or deem it a purchasing stimulant. This epitomizes a branding blunder.

Most folks in tech companies suffer from a malady I coined in 1989, technologica erotica, which causes them to speak in insular, arcane jargon — in engineering meetings, on homepages, at conferences, in radio/TV spots, in magazine/Internet ads, and, worst of all, on sales calls.

Jargon junkies — like all addicts — are perpetually clueless that their gibberish doesn’t resonate outside the rooms in which their jargon-filled whiteboards hang.

To speak in customer language, which obviously DOES resonate with customers, a supplier must understand: 1) buyers’ needs, emotions, and conversations; 2) that buyers acquire value and solutions and lifestyle, not products or technologies.


Rx from the WhiteNoise Doctor™

Are you a jargon junkie? Maybe you don’t realize it. You’ll know if your prospects, potential investors, and people in the media keep asking: “What the hell are you talking about?”

Using jargon causes your business focus and operation to become insular and stuck in time. Dale Carnegie taught us that, to win friends and influence people, one must engage them in conversations about themselves. This is impossible when talking about yourself.

You have a simple choice: Either kick your jargon habit, or accept unnecessarily high costs of sales, media, and capital — not to mention refilling that prescription.
POSTSCRIPT: Ellison vs. Benioff: What Is the Cloud?


About the Author

Marc Rudov is a branding advisor to CEOs,
producer of MarcRudovTV, and author of the book,
Be Unique or Be Ignored: The CEO’s Guide to Branding.


© 2011 Marc H. Rudov. All Rights Reserved.


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