There’s nothing wrong with language adapting to our ever-changing times. A culture that readily adopts new words has led to some groundbreaking developments, like finally being able to play “bae” and “antivaxxer” in Scrabble.
Still, in a business context, new buzzwords are useful right up until they become unbearable. Here’s the jargon that just wouldn’t die in 2019.
There’s a way to talk about “takeaways” and “lessons” without butchering the English language.
Sure, “business method” is a mouthful. However, if a terrifying hybrid of Pepto-Bismol and methamphetamine isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you hear this portmanteau, then you probably haven’t binged-watched Breaking Bad while sick with the flu.
13. Fake Sponcon
Yes, fake influencers are a thing now and “fake sponcon” is their bread and butter. There’s nothing wrong with getting paid to promote products. However, putting #subaru on a post for free in attempt to infiltrate the influencer world is just…sad. We don’t need to humor it with a nickname.
Why selfie when you can slofie? Because nothing makes people want to take a slow-motion selfie less than this word.
It seems like this combination of “business” and “leisure” was created for the sake of a stock photoshoot. A business bro sits on beach, blazer intact, laptop in lap–it’s too much of a caricature for a concept that’s supposed to be the “future of work.”
10. Crypto Winter
Crypto was once “hot”–you know, unlike winter–but then bitcoin values plummeted, the hype died down, and crypto went ice-cold. There’s only one problem: winter isn’t indefinite. When cryptocurrency values fall, there’s no telling when they’ll bounce back.
Used as a dismissive term for those who rely on “vanity metrics” like click-through rates to evaluate the success of an online media campaign, “clickheads” could be easily co-opted to imply that there’s something wrong with favoring a tangible metric over, um, guessing?
Abbreviations are everywhere in corporate America. Yet when you have an employee you’d like to “invite to leave” (aka, fire), it can’t hurt to use a pinch more sensitivity than the corporate equivalent of “GTFO.”
Find yourself caught between Gen Z and Millennials? This one’s for you. It’s surprising that Zillow hasn’t patented this for its marketing materials yet.
Companies who produce smart kitchen appliances with features like precise temperature control needed to name their target audience something. But no matter how much you love combining your “passion for food” with your “eye for technological innovation,” you will make no friends identifying as a “technicurean.”
“As a kid, I wanted to be Harry Potter. Now, I just want to put on a VR-headset and live my favorite company’s brand narrative,” said no one ever.
4. Symbol Brand
Some brands have logos that don’t include their names, and yes, that’s a testament to their power. However, if you have to spell out your “symbol brand” for people, do you really belong in the upper echelon?
A “high-net-worth individual” is just…rich, right?
2. Share of Life
As a measurement of how many minutes of each day in a customers’ life a brand can meaningfully support, “share of life” makes sense as a general concept. Start calculating it as a metric, however, and watch the share of your life that has meaning plummet.
1. Girl Boss / Momprenuer / She-E-O / Badass Queen
Unless you’re ready to start calling Jeff Bezos a “boy boss,” men should steer clear of these condescending terms for women who lead. This separate designation can feel like a snide pat on the back rather than female empowerment.
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