business cliches

10 business clichés that make you sound like an idiot

Posted by Clare Dodd Picture of Clare Dodd on 9 January 2013
Editor in Chief for Articulate Marketing. Expert on copywriting for B2B technology companies, specialising in writing about technology, marketing, branding, strategy and thought leadership subjects.

How did I whittle it down this list of business cliches to just 10? Well I burnt the candle at both ends doing some mind mapping, then I put my game face on and at the end of the day, I gave it 110% and decided to run these examples up the flag pole and see who saluted them.

  • Work smarter, not harder. Are you suggesting that I am working stupidly? Please tell me more about how you avoid effort and produce results by simply sounding clever.

  • You've changed your name again. Stick to a good project name and leave it there. 
  • Manage expectations. In other words, make sure no one expects you to work at more than 70 percent capacity.

  • Separate the men from the boys. Oh, so testosterone and old-fashioned masculinity are what drive profits. I guess I had better pack away this business plan and go back to the kitchen then.

  • Impactful. It’s not a word. It’s ridiculous.

  • Go after the low-hanging fruit. Despite it’s popularity, this phrase conveys no meaning. You want to be lazy and get what’s easy? You want what everyone else can get, and is therefore less valuable? You want the fruit full of wasps and grubs? Why?

    New call-to-action

  • Iterative. Stop saying this word. Just stop saying it.
  • This is our deliverable. I defer to Eric Jackson to explain this one: “I know this sounds like something that comes in a body bag, but it makes our PowerPoint sound tougher than it actually is."
  • Digital native. Someone whose parents are still paying for all their gadgets and their internet connection.
  • This marketing campaign could go viral. Really? Could it? And if it does, then will you feel confidant in the future of your business simply by knowing that you have joined the ranks of the Bonnie Tyler spoof and a piano playing cat?
  • Going forward. I’ll let David Mitchell handle this last one.

New call-to-action

We recommend reading these articles, next...

A marketer’s take on ChatGPT and the applications of AI marketing

Discover the evolving world of AI and its applications in marketing. Explore the risks and...

5 ways to get your business blog in front of a rapt audience

5 ways to get your business blog in front of a rapt audience

From SEO best practices to sharing on social media, use these tips to attract a huge audience to...

7 expert tips for producing high-quality marketing content for business

7 expert tips for producing high-quality marketing content for business

Writing marketing content is easy, but writing high-quality marketing content is much more...