Boring Business Branding

Eliminate the Jargon-Filled Voice from Your Branding

One of the initial key exercises we go through with our clients is to define their brand’s unique voice. In other words, when leads and prospects visit their website or peruse their social media pages, what is the tone and attitude of the voice they want them to hear?

Using the Professional Robot Voice

Corporations, small businesses, and even non-profits used to project the same voice in their branding, marketing, and correspondence: the Professional Robot voice. Unnecessarily complicated over-speak. Jargon-filled. Pretentious. Yes, I said it: pretentious.

Whether your client base is a Fortune 500 or the local neighborhood, by limiting your tone to the Professional Robot voice, you’re doing two things:

  • Losing a chance at making your brand distinctive and memorable.
  • Alienating an ever-growing segment of your audience (people under the age of 45) who expect to hear it—and are turned off if they don’t.

Most people recognize the Professional Robot voice for its day-to-day counterpart: The Dull Authoritative Guy leading the weekly meeting, who speaks at the group without listening, who is—a bad communicator. Who is overly impressed with himself. Who instead of learning to generate results from a group of active participants, has honed a repulsive skill: making the team members feel small, uneducated, and unsophisticated.

Everyone has either worked for that guy or worked with him. Everyone recognizes him for his know-it-all-ness. They avoid him at functions and parties. They groan internally when he speaks up at meetings. He’s not a part of the team; he’s too busy being self-important.

How You Know You’re Using It

  • Do you get a blank stare / quizzical expression when you introduce your products and services to a prospect?
  • Do you spend more time in meetings explaining how your products and services work than actually closing the deal?
  • Do you spend so much time supporting your marketing, documentation, and emails through verbal explanation that you miss out on the chance to show people the value of your products and services?

You could be victimizing people with your use of the Professional Robot voice.

Smart Branding

You don’t need to over-compensate by “sounding smart.” Just be smart, even a little clever, and you’ll get your point across.

With all the information flying at people nowadays, yes, they need the 140-character version. It’s not because people are dumber or time is any more limited now than it was 20 years ago. It’s not that they don’t want to work with you. They just don’t understand you.

Call it a dumbing-down of our culture, if that helps. But if 3 people pitch an idea, and two do it succinctly and clearly, while the third dumps a bucketful of jargon, throws back his shoulders, and waits for the prospect to be impressed… you can imagine who wins the bid.

People are not trying to be impressed. They are trying to understand how what you’re selling will benefit them—in their work or life.

We already know you’re smart. If you weren’t smart, you wouldn’t be successful. Or are you over-compensating?

So don’t talk over your customers’ heads; don’t be that pompous ass in the meeting. Bring your message to the masses confidently yet simply, demonstrate some creativity, and develop your brand’s unique voice. It can only help build your brand’s exposure and reputation in the long run.

Photo Credit: Patrick Wallace cc

22-year veteran of strategy: brand, business, organizational, communications. Certified in project management and regulatory compliance. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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