Every few years, we have to suffer through a new, bizarre array of silly marketing and business terms that make me want to leap into traffic or wander around wearing headphones and eye-patches until the trend passes.
Sometimes I try to imagine how the trend got started. Were these founders of the bastardized language laughed out of the room? Did they seem innovative and exotic? Did they have to hide their word of the day calendars in their desks after the meeting, so they seemed extra fantastic? Or did the word simply evolve slowly and naturally into everyday conversation?
We may never know the how, and I may never want to know the why, but I suggest that if we’re nominating words to be overused and destroyed, I nominate, “Asshattery” for our next contender. It’s great for stress relief and can be used to discourage another odd lingo you aren’t fond of. It’s kind of the explosion of rock, paper, scissors – nothing beats it.
Behaviour that shows a lack of good sense or coherent thought.
“Please ease up on the verbal asshattery, the word bespoke deserves better”
Let’s Talk About, Bespoke.
adjustive (formerly a verb)
dealing in or producing custom-made articles
a bespoke tailor
Suits and shoes used to be described as Bespoke, which in short meant, custom-tailored. In recent years, bespoke started to pick up traction as a marketing term, popping out of every marketing report, sales pitch and even in some strange places like “bespoke medicine” or “bespoke yoga”.
It’s becoming over saturated, like synergy or outside of the box – I’ve already gotten to the point where I don’t need anymore bespoke anything.
Bespoke originated as a verb, meaning to speak for. It evolved into an adjective to describe custom tailoring of suits and shoes, and eventually, the marketing gurus (oh, there’s another one I hate – guru), got together and turned it into a superfluous version of “customized”.
What’s wrong with customized is beyond me.
What’s Your Problem with Trends?
I don’t have a problem with trends! I love design trends, hashtag trends, fashion trends, and food trends. New ideas that people fall in love with are AWESOME!
But words designed to confuse, sound prolific or on-trend, feel unnecessary and inauthentic, in my personal opinion. However, it’s not because they make me want to duct tape foam around my head that I believe they don’t belong in your marketing.
It’s because they make you blend in, and our job as marketers is to make you stand out. So hopping on-trend or doing what everyone else is doing, is not useful as part of an ongoing marketing strategy. Our goal when we help you make a plan is to help you to stand out from the crowd, not blend into one.
So in short, don’t jump on language trends for your marketing efforts. I can’t afford to keep buying eye-patches every couple of years to block out the words, and you can’t afford for your marketing to become dated and silly before it ever begins!