01 Oct What we have here is a failure to communicate
Whilst the digital revolution has redefined business to consumer (B2C) relationships and shifted the boundaries of communication, a plethora of businesses stubbornly refuse to adapt. Many corporations continue to indulge in corporate jargon and ignore the importance of delivering a simple and accessible message to the public. Much like the context of Stuart Rosenburg’s iconic film Cool Hand Luke, there is a failure to communicate.
Their refusal to adapt only serves to alienate an audience that now expects to be able to interact with companies on their own terms, rather than decipher an unrelenting tide of corporate code. B2B Marketing recently found that fewer than 25% of the public endorses business jargon. The survey also asked participants the meaning of 10 common business phrases, to which a staggering 70% knew a third or less.
Corporate jargon decoded
- Horizontal communication: A less structured, less controlled but ultimately more informal way of communicating with your audience.
- Sticky content: Used to describe good quality content that makes users stay on the host site for longer.
- Reaching out: Pick up the phone.
- Engagement: A notoriously intangible term that refers to the level of involvement and interaction an individual has with a brand over time.
- Reach: The number of people that are exposed to your marketing message.
Despite being a pioneer in reshaping corporate communications in the 21st century, Twitter can be accused of a similar crime. Upon announcing its recent intention to go public, the company issued the following tweet:
“We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO”
However, there are numerous corporations have invested heavily in their quest to obtain a positive digital ID by using social media resources, increasingly user-friendly web interfaces and by posting regular fresh content online. Urban Outfitters are one such company that is communicating with customers the right way. Its latest marketing campaign, UOonYou (Urban Outfitters on you) encourages customers to submit photos via social media sites such as Instagram. The campaign has driven conversation and interaction designed to promote the brand’s ecommerce services.
Another good example has been Innocent smoothies who have been at the forefront of rejecting a culture riddled with jargon, choosing instead to embrace a far more simplistic and accessible message to communicate with consumers and employees alike. Their “nothing but nothing but fruit” campaign was hugely successful due to its emphasis on clear and engaging communication.
Portraying a brand with a human face has become a key asset, yet how can brands realise their potential?