Here’s why I think you should avoid the word boast in marketing. The meaning of words do shift constantly. One of the senses that the word ‘boast’ has taken on is of the possession of a feature that is a source of pride. In construction marketing, it often appears in the context of product features, the design elements of a building or external project.
In marketing, one of our objectives is to convey the best aspects of our product or service. Naturally, these are things that we are proud of.
However, the primary meaning of the word boast is to communicate with an excessive degree of pride and self-satisfaction about one’s achievements, possessions, or abilities. For me the word has the negative connotations of a boxer at a press conference, a con-man or an untrustworthy politician. Do we really want to boast in marketing?
Using boasts instead of simply ‘has’ goes against the principles of construction writing as well as content marketing. Boasting about something has negative connotations and is a turn-off for your reader, in my opinion.
Sainsbury’s is one of the biggest retail brands in the UK. There’s really no need to boast about the number of transactions – the figures speak for themselves!
Sainsbury’s, which boasts more than 24 millions transactions per week across it’s 1,200 stores, is one of the best known names in retailing.
1Rebel is a boutique gym in The City of London. The interior has been designed to feel like a nightclub. Professional DJs create the workout music, for example. There are many carefully thought-out elements giving a customer experience unlike any other gym. While researching a product that had been installed in the fit-out, I came across the following:
1Rebel boasts a spacious changing facilities ‘fully stocked with top-end grooming and skincare products, sports-luxe retail zones and a post-grind workout courtesy of Roots & Bulbs cold-pressed juice bar.
Although this gym is proud that it has set itself apart, there should be no need to ‘boast’ about it. The images show something special and different, and I’m sure actually being there in person, it would speak for itself.
On the other hand, maybe boasting is a quality that is synonymous with obsessive workouts and building a muscular body! In which case, this would be an appropriate word choice.
Here’s a final example. In construction, ‘boasts’ tends to be included to strengthen a piece of text.
manufacturers of both play and sports equipment, boasting a dynamic design and sales’ team plus exemplary customer service
A boastful salesperson sounds like the worst kind, in my opinion! The negative associations are of bragging, crowing or gloating.
As an alternative, just write in plain English and use the word ‘has’. When describing a product, explain in some detail about why the features are beneficial and specifically how they will help the designer or end user. These facts should carry enough weight without having to boast.