Cliches I Never Want To See Or Hear Again
Stay away from the Clichés. Pass on the Platitudes. Bash the Banal. Skip the Stale and Meaningless. And hang the Hackneyed and Humdrum.
Platitudes and Clichés can make your website invisible. Words that Differentiate you make your website and ads powerful
Do your website, landing pages, or advertisements contain any of these?
- “We Go The Extra Mile For You”
- “We Treat You Like Family”
- “We’re Professionals”
- “We Do It All”
- “You Tried The Rest, Now Try The Best”
- “We’ve Been In Business Since 735 B.C.”
“Give me a break!” If I hear or read these words one more time in the website of otherwise fine businesses, I’m going to scream.
Why is it that when asked to make a logical case for why you should do business with them, far too many owners, managers, and yes, “professional” copywriters fall back on the most trite, hackneyed, overused, and totally meaningless platitudes that no one believes? (Platitude: “a dull, commonplace or trite remark uttered as if it were true and profound”.)
The probable answer is that they couldn’t – or neglected to – develop a compelling marketing message that would differentiate them from their competitors. Differentiation is almost certainly the most important element especially in effective website marketing. And without differentiation you’re almost invisible.
Choices Are Made On Differences – Not Clichés And Sameness!
Acclaimed marketing guru Jack Trout titled his new book “Differentiate or Die”. Overstatement? Not by a long shot.
So, use meaningless platitudes and clichés at your own risk. But before you spend any of your good money to develop and communicate your differentiating marketing message, at least put it through these four simple tests.
Put Your Website And Ads To These Four Tests
“Prove It” Whenever you see a platitude or cliché in an ad, just add “Prove It” and it will take on a whole new meaningless meaning. “5 Star Customer Service” – Prove It!
“The Quality Leader” – Prove It! “The Lowest Prices In Town” – Prove It! If there’s no proof, there’s no ad.
“Well, I Should Hope So” Check your piece for phrases that trumpet as extraordinary what your prospects take for a given. When a printer advertises “Black & White and Full Color Processes”, “Folding and Packing”, “Your Choice of Paper”, the prospect mentally responds “Well I should hope so. You’re a printer. That’s what printers do.” (Obvious now, isn’t it?)
“What Else Is There” Take the Movers who are proud to tell you that they do “Residential and Commercial”, “Local and Long Distance”, and “Large and Small” moves. What else is there?!? If you have these kinds of claims on your website, , you’re wasting valuable space where good conversion copy should be. Just for fun, look under “Movers” in your Yellow Pages – that platitude filled book – see for yourself.
“Cross Out – Write In” When your marketing piece contains generalities, platitudes, and clichés, it is near to impossible to differentiate your business from your competitors. To prove the point, try this exercise. Take your ad, cross out your name, address and phone, and write in your competitor’s. Is the ad still mostly valid? If so, there’s no meaningful differentiating statement and customers will revert to judging on price alone. How often have you picked up the phone only to hear “How much do you charge for…?” Try again.
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