Thursday, April 26

My Two Newest Favorite Terms

If you've read my book, then you know that I'm not a big fan of  marketing buzz words.  You know the ones:  words that get used over and over, all day long, to describe marketing programs.  Like "integrated marketing" or "alignment".

The problem with buzzwords is that they lose their meaning after awhile and just become noise.  So as soon as a word hits buzzword status, I try to drop it immediately and use plain ole' English instead.  As I say in my book, "buzzwords need not apply."

Let me also say that I dislike labels just as much.  Labels are confining and stereotypical ... they box us into pre-determined definitions that may or may not apply.

But when a word is new, it's so much fun to use it, right?!  Well I have two new favorites that I just love ... mostly because they reflect what's going on in pop culture and how we all identify ourselves.

Polyethnic.  Love this word.  Very few of us are actually just one nationality, one affiliation, one ethnicity. Many of us are a melting pot unto ourselves, so it's hard to identify and label many of us by any one thing.  So I love "polyethnic" which better reflects the diverse backgrounds from which we all come from, and the way in which we should honor all of them.  Polyethnic.

My other favorite word?

Pansexual.  Not straight or gay or bisexual ... but "pansexual."  Much better reflects the spectrum of how we may or may not choose to identify ourselves along these dimensions ... and is a great way to describe a group of diverse people.  The word has no implications or judgement associated with it.  Pansexual.

If you're like me, then enjoy these new words until they jump the shark and become buzzwords, potentially losing their meaning entirely.  I'm going to count how many times I can use them both today.  But the question is when will these two become just buzzwords too?!?

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President, Cohn & Wolfe North America
Author, The Experience Effect and The Experience Effect for Small Business
Professor, NYU


  1. If you could create a transmedia synergy with this then..uh...wait. I'm doing it, aren't I?

  2. Let's ask the Transition Liason. Jim.

  3. Jim, I'm a pansexual polyethnic serial entrepreneur who LOVED your webinar yesterday. Thanks for sharing passionate insights on branding done well that truly connects with the emotional triggers of the buying process for consumers. Congrats also on your "new" role at Cohn & Wolfe! Since you began your marketing journey with Johnson and Johnson I thought you would enjoy this filmmaker's work which she did with J&J recently--paksimaproductions(.)com. I believe she just did 3 more films for internal use as well. Incredible connection with the brand through powerful storytelling. Also exceptional brands from your question yesterday,, Wegman's Grocery, W Hotels and the Amazon Kindle experience/community, and of course Apple. Cheers!

  4. Thank you so much, Steven. I'll check it out! Jim