There is something about business jargon that gets under our skin. You know it when you see it, it’s cringe-worthy, and worst of all, it makes your customers aware of the fact that they are being sold to. (Never a good thing.)
Business jargon is often used by companies to elevate a product or service, but what it really does is confuse your audience.
In theory, jargon is simply the attempt to distill a complex process into as few words as possible. In practice, jargon can become unrecognizable and exclusionary.
How is business jargon causing exclusion? When your messaging starts to feel too “insider baseball,” rather than inviting your audience into your clubhouse, you’re actually telling them they don’t know the secret code words.
Certain industries are prone to using a specialized vernacular (tech, science, nonprofits…) so it can feel like you have no choice but to fall in line.
But there is a better way.
When choosing buzzwords, it’s important to consider three things:
Whether the word or phrase means what you intend it to mean
If your audience, without a doubt, knows what it means
If there is a more effective alternative
Why it’s important to rethink business jargon in your copy:
A big part of the copywriting process is asking ourselves if there is a better way to say something so the right meaning is conveyed while also enticing readers down the page. More often than not, the second-pass copyedits involve a LOT of simplifying and swapping this word for that word.
To make life easier, I have a running copy bank dedicated solely to jargon and catchphrases I’ve come across (or found myself using…I 100% admit it.)