Buzzwords, those catchy adjectives that help mold a brand’s identity, can either help or hinder a brand. Either way, once a buzzword catches on, it can sometimes be impossible to escape.
“Innovative” is a buzzword that has become so overused it’s losing its impact. Below, eight members of Business Journals Leadership Trust discuss some impactful buzzwords that companies can use instead of relying on the word “innovative.”
1. Words that mirror and advance your mission.
In the nonprofit space, the meaning of buzzwords like “innovative” will vary amongst your audience and stakeholders. This can quickly muddy the message you intend to cascade or the action you want to elevate. The best words to rely on are those that mirror and advance your mission. It will hold true, no matter the audience. – Chandra Scott, Alabama Possible
2. Words that convey a specific message and solution.
The only thing a customer wants to know is how you can help them. Saying you are innovative does not mean much to the customer. Instead, we have always said this to clients: “When you work with us, we help you do ABC to address your biggest challenge of DEF.” This is what we do consistently at The Franchise Pros. Our clients come on board delighted and clear about the value we will deliver to them. – Faizun Kamal, The Franchise Pros
3. Words that express resourcefulness.
I prefer the word “creative” as it implies that your company is addressing a particular need or problem by devising a solution that best addresses it in the most progressive, resourceful, productive, efficient and value-oriented manner available. – Carlos Munguia, Amegy Bank
4. Words that spell out your company’s value.
Innovation is no longer a differentiator; it’s an expectation of being in business. Instead, spell out what value you could bring to a potential customer in jargon-free terms. Potential customers will be able to make informed decisions when they see the use case of what’s on offer. – Kenneth Bowles, WilsonHCG
5. Words that make you stand out.
The word “innovative” carries with it a great deal of pressure to be the person. Many people don’t identify as being innovative, but if you use language such as, “Let’s think differently.” “What are new solutions?” “What hasn’t been tried?” or “What are some outlandish ideas?” — it conveys a more rudimentary level of thinking even though it gets you to the same outcomes of great ideas. – Kimberly Janson, Janson Associates
6. Words that convey awareness of the future.
“Forward-thinking” would be my suggested option. It indicates that you are actually thinking about the future and taking into account all of the options that are available for you to utilize. You truly know what the future holds, but you need to have your eyes open and be constantly aware of your surroundings if you want to evolve and survive. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency
7. Words that speak to personalization.
Instead of “innovative,” originality should be a goal of any brand or think tank. It speaks to the individuality of your consumer and the personalized nature and relationship they want to have with any product or service. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
8. Words that describe your uniqueness.
When every company claims to be innovative, the word starts to lose its meaning. Instead of relying on the word “innovative,” companies should focus on describing what makes their product or service unique. What problem does it solve? How will your customer be better off with your product or service? This will help connect companies with their customers on a deeper level. – Adam Toren, RaisingEmpoweredKids.com