Lazy adjectives

A pervasive offering is not going to make you win.

A best-in-class solution is a fake promise.

Seamless integration with other tools is a given.

An optimized tool to increase productivity is just not enough.

A customer-driven way to increase leads is meaningless.

Unless it is to describe something that’s truly making you stand out, avoid using adjectives in your copy. Their use is inflated and they do not add any meaningful hint at the value you deliver.

They are a lazy shortcut.

Take the time to explain instead. In as little words as possible. In a clear language. In words your audience can relate to (and other audiences can’t).

Do the work.

Aligning

Internal alignment is often that spot where every manager in the organization is happy, while everyone looking from the outside (customers included) have no clue what is going on.

Aligning is important, but it needs to happen on broad topics. Values, principles, long-term targets.

When alignment gets down to the tactics, to the details, it turns into agreement. It becomes a patchwork that at best reflects the ego and desires of a limited amount of people.

It’s natural

Understand that it is normal to want to make things complex.

To want to add just one more feature. To want to make a clause for that particular case. To want to split the price to make it more flexible. To want to tell exactly how it works. To want to cover all the needs of all possible audiences. To want to factor in all the preferences of all possible stakeholders.

Understand that it is normal to want all of this.

And understand also that customers want simple. You yourself want simple when you are the customer.

Complexity is natural. It is also not what is going to make your business grow.

Follow the leader

Two thoughts about the Uber campaign running in the UK emphasizing driver’s rights.

  1. We have a company that leverages the way it treats its employees for an outdoor, B2C advertising campaign. That could be a first. It is a sign that customers are more considerate in their decisions, and the criteria on their radar go beyond product functionality and price.
  2. Other taxi and ride-hailing apps have missed a huge opportunity to cover this space and dominate it. They gifted Uber with time to go fight in courtrooms and come up with a strategy that is the exact opposite of what Uber execs claimed only few months ago. Following the leader has taken them off track.

One and many

You have one single product and multiple ways to tell about it.

That does not mean that you have to tell a different story every time you talk to a different audience. It means that you need to be sensible enough to adapt your story to match the language and the background of the audiences you care about (i.e., that make you money).

The drill goes like this.

  1. Work on your story.
  2. Identify your audience.
  3. Research your audience.
  4. Translate your story in a language that your audience can understand (without changing it).

You can’t have 2, 3, and 4 if you have not started with 1. And at the same time, you can’t pretend 1 to be effective if you are not following up with 2, 3, and 4.

When you get to 4, that’s the time to be consistent, over a period of time, to see if you have worked, identified, and researched well.

It’s a tough job. It is long-term.