Reading Lee’s post concerning his boycott of marketing jargon got me thinking…Is the problem with the words themselves, or the way in which people use them?
While I agree with Lee that these particular words have lost whatever power they may or may not have ever had, I’m not sure that replacing them with new words fixes the problem. Replacing viral with memetic may be good, but how long before memetic loses its power and we’re on to the next word. Or worse yet, back to viral. Ultimately, I think we need to challenge ourselves think before we speak and promise not to use these phrases as a crutch. Each word has a place and a time. Finding that place and time is key.
With that said, I have a real issue with the word engagement. It’s not nearly strong enough as a concept. I’m far more interested in empowerment. Engagement seems to fall short of action. It implies a state of involvement beyond simple awareness, but little more.
Empowerment, on the other hand, is all about action. Brands that empower the consumer assume the role of advocate. They lead the way for the consumer to take action. They enable and inspire the consumer to do something, whether that’s having a cleaner home , doing the right thing or going for a run.
If I could retire one word, it might be consumer. It’s so condescending.