Other day, I was talking to Jon Hirschtick (founder of SolidWorks and my previous employer) and we were talking about positioning statements. Jon had an interesting way to put it – he said words in any messaging consists of three types of words:
- Blather words: In other words, marketing buzzwords – integrated, extensible, scalable, value added, synergy, paradigm, next generation, flexible, configurable etc. – so commonly (mis-) used that it adds no differentiation to your message
- Glue words: Words that you are forced to use such as “and, or, the, with” etc. Does not add to your message but necessary to hold your message together
- Keywords: These are the real things. This is where you need to spend your most time carefully picking them. Choose simple words that communicate the essence. Use what will resonate with the audience, words they can associate with, words that will stick with them.
Jon has put this out in very simple terms that this will be my guideline in all messaging that I do from now – positioning statements, key messages in my presentations, marketing material etc.