Navigating Hot Topic Terminology

What’s in a name? Or should I say, what’s in a claim?

These days, American consumers are bringing a less-is-more attitude to the brands they engage with. Whether it’s an ingredient, term, claim, or process, we as humans are more cognizant about the environmental, bodily and (gasp!) marketing implications of our favorite products.

People don’t have (or want) to take the time to research what triethanolamine (amino acid in cosmetics) or polytetrafluoroethylene (compound in makeup) are. They roll their eyes when we say 100% NATURAL. They scoff at “environmentally friendly.”

They don’t trust terminology anymore.

But what happens if you represent a client that does have these ingredients in their products? Or does make claims that are controversial today?

Here I take some of the hot button issues and offer suggestions for ways to navigate them:

Are these the only hot topic terms combating marketers today? No, of course not. I’d need 5 more Buzz Bins to get through all them. However for now I recommend simply being smart about what’s worth supporting and what isn’t. Anticipate the best and the worst consequences, and, most importantly, know your consumer. If you’re sure that terminology is a major (positive) factor in their purchasing decisions, stick with it but be prepared for the haters.

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