Mind Readings: The Price of Overexaggeration

Amazing. Game changing. Mind blowing. Awesome. In our mad grab for attention, we’ve managed to dilute the meaning of nearly every superlative to the point where we’re no longer able to make useful distinctions. What about the contrarian point of view? It’s certainly attention-getting.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for watching the video.

Christopher Penn 0:15

In today’s episode of mine readings, let’s talk about over exaggeration.

If you listen to how marketers market things, and how people talk these days, we’ve kind of painted ourselves into a corner.

Think about some of the terms that people love to use, either in conversation or in marketing, calling folks besties or best friends, saying that something is amazing or game changing our mind blowing or awesome.

We use these terms, in increasingly extreme ways.

To grab attention, right to get attention.

And in the process for this mad grab for attention, we’ve sort of diluted the meaning of every single superlative available to the point where you can’t make any more useful distinctions, right? What’s the difference between a project a product that’s amazing and a product that’s mind blowing? I don’t know.

What’s the difference between someone who’s a good friend a BFF, and a bestie? Again, I don’t know.

When we lose the ability to make these useful distinctions, we lose the ability to actually show when something is important, right? If everything is awesome, then nothing really awesome, right? It becomes a meaningless term.

When every product or service or company is revolutionary.

At that point, that term doesn’t have any meaning.

So what are we supposed to do about this? How are you supposed to make useful distinctions? The thing I would try doing is actually approaching it from the contrarian point of view.

What would happen if you started off a press release instead, instead of saying, you know, Trust Insights is excited to reveal its latest product? Right? What if you said Trust Insights is mildly pleased to release its newest product that is completely believable, right over as opposed to unbelievable, and will satisfy customers needs for doing this particular task with a minimum of difficulty, as opposed to saying, as you know, revolutionary products is going to change everything and, and completely alter the way you work.

Because let’s be honest, most products don’t do that.

Most services, most companies, at best haven’t added of quality to your life, right? They help make your life a little bit better.

Very few products are so impressive that they fundamentally change how you live or work.

But more important, when you use language from the sort of contrarian point of view is in self attention getting because it’s different than what people are used to hearing, everybody is used to hearing about revolutionary game changing products instead of products that will minorly help you in your workday.

This product will save you several dollars and perhaps a few minutes a day.

As opposed to saying this gonna save you millions of dollars and deliver outstanding ROI and and we know those products will not actually do that.

So if you were to describe your marketing, and your products and your services, with terms that were more accurate to the emotional state that they actually create in your customers.

What would that look like? And how would attract the attention of people who are destined to the overuse of superlatives? Right? When you can’t tell the difference between something that’s awesome and terrific.

And somebody says this product is just north of mediocre like what, what does that mean? It is a conversation starter.

It’s a way for you to interrupt a pattern that everybody else is doing and and do something different.

Do something that gets people to pay attention to you.

So, the takeaway here is you are paying a price In listening to terms, I have just massive over exaggerated, Ajit adoration, and you are paying a heavy price as a marketer if you’re using those terms, because nobody has any idea what they mean anymore.

Christopher Penn 5:15

So if you were to describe products and services for the actual emotional impact they have, you’ll get more attention, you’ll get more conversation, you’ll get happier customers in a lot of ways.

Because if you accurately described your product as minorly, satisfying, right? That’s a lot of scratching your head, initially.

But if you set that expectation and your product delivers on that expectation, then you have a happier customer than describing your product as revolutionary.

And then the customers like, well, I, my job’s pretty much the same.

And I save two minutes a day on this task.

Because if you’re charging somebody for a revolutionary product, and you’re not delivering, you’re gonna be in for a bad time, right? At some point, somebody will say, what are we paying all this money for this product that says it does this thing and really doesn’t do this thing, as opposed to saying, Here’s a product that lives up to its billing, right? It is a nice minor convenience.

And you can have a debate about the pricing of a nice minor convenience, but you won’t have to worry about people going well, they promised me the world and all they gave me was a taco right now tacos are good.

But again, there’s not one of those things that is going to change the world and bring about world peace.

So that’s today’s Mandarin.

Just some thoughts about how we use our language and being more precise in our use of language being more accurate in our use of language so that it aligns with expectations.

It aligns with the experience people will have, and it stands out from everybody else who’s saying that their product is the next best thing since sliced bread.

Thanks for watching.

We’ll talk to you soon.


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