You Can’t Reach New Audiences With Old Language

Communication barrier

We are often tasked with helping clients reach beyond their natural boundaries to gain traction in other markets. More often than not,  the key to getting traction in these new markets, whether they be new locations, industries or audiences is usually using fresh language that resonates with new people.

If people outside your bullseye target circle would benefit from your service or product (and likely there are many that do), your words should connect with them, not just reflect your current “inside-baseball” crew of fans.

Tiny Bubbles of Language

Wherever we are personally by location or interest, we live in bubbles of language outsiders may struggle to understand. In the San Francisco Bay Area, we say “The City” and everyone knows we’re talking about San Francisco, even though San Jose is larger by population and area. San Franciscans say going to “the South Bay” and mean San Jose — those in San Jose are not amused. Meanwhile, those in Colorado would be awash in a dialect disaster trying to make sense of these bubble-based terms. 

Acronyms Are Terrible Language

The same holds true for industries and acronyms. For example, FPS means incredibly different things to different people. If you work in or play video games, FPS means “first-person shooter” (think Call of Duty, Overwatch, or the boss’s personal favorite the SEGA classic, Virtua Cop). But for those who do their shooting with cameras, FPS means “frames per second.”  The impact may seem inconsequential, but draining your language of jargon could be the difference between building a bridge to a small village of people versus a city of people. 

Replacing jargon-laden text or speech with simple language can and should be the first step to reaching new audiences. Adweek draws a connection between the relatability of a brands message and its success, therefore it’s important to use language many can relate to, not just a few. We need to think of language as a brand’s invitation and, if we want people to RSVP, we need to write and speak in a way that everyone can understand. (Read more about the awesome benefits of plain speech here.)

So if your message isn’t breaking through to those people you KNOW would benefit from your product or service, give us a call. We’ll take your story and help you tell it with language anyone can hear and, more importantly, understand.


Written by Devin Cuevas