There are many words to avoid when writing marketing copy for construction products. One of my core principles is to be objective. The reason for this is – architects and other specifiers just need the technical information.
Avoiding overused words that exaggerate meaning will improve trust in your reader and make it easier for them to do their job. They need to select the product that is suitable for the application based on its materials, dimensions, features and suitable applications.
There are three words that tend to be mindlessly thrown in to marketing copy:
If you find yourself including these, imagine a warning siren going off. Stop and review whether the sentence is still true or not. Consider editing out the word and focusing on the facts.
The temptation of the eager marketer or copywriter is to over-emphasise features and benefits. This is appropriate in many industries, but not in construction specification.
Let’s look at a few examples:
“Provides maximum insulation” – this is a phrase I have seen regularly, often when a product is insulated, where typically competitor products are not, or only have a small amount of insulation. Taken literally, ‘maximum’ insulation means that absolutely zero heat can get in or out. U Values and K Values exist for a reason – to enable building designers to specify products that enable their building to meet the required thermal performance. Don’t use meaningless exaggeration – help them to do their job by quoting test figures.
“The ultimate security solution”. The world of security products is one of dramatic descriptions and copywriting that often induces fear and anxiety in the reader. It’s disingenuous at best and dishonest at worst. All security measures can be breached – they question is how long it would take and how difficult it would be.
“Maximum efficiency” is a similar example.
The word “ultimate” is also found in phrases that are entirely subjective – “providing the ultimate play experience for children”, “offering the ultimate in modern style”. The word adds no meaning here. It is already overused, so you will need to find another way to say how great your product is. (although I’d argue that you shouldn’t bother – stick to the facts)
“Optimum” can be substituted for the examples above. You may have your own personal favourite exaggeration words that you are guilty of using, or hate with a passion. Please let me know!
Avoid these words at all costs! Their meaning can be relative, is sometimes subjective and is often simply not correct. Using them won’t help specifiers to choose your products.
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