copywriting, solution

Stop Using the Word “Solution”

The word “solution” is probably one of the most often misused words in copyrighting–especially in high tech.  In fact, everything seems to be “a solution.”  Is this correct? Why yes.  But if everything is a solution–does that mean your product is everything?  See the point? It is too vague–or in simpler terms, it is an unarticulated word.  It is also a lazy word–for lack of thinking enough to call it what it really is.

Or are we actually trying to hide what our product is, or perhaps we are being “creative”–what,  by not actually articulating our product?  I don’t think so–especially since solution (replace “solution” with the word “everyone”) is using it (whatever “it” is–sounds Clintonian to me).

BTW, we should not use the word “solution” just because we see it so frequently and think it is in style, or acceptable (I even wonder… nahh, I’m not nuts!)–most folks don’t have a clue about what makes effective copy (even many so called marketing folks (shameful abuse of a title)).  Monkeys copy other monkeys–want a banana with that copy?

I was responding to a question within a forum from the owner of a high tech product website said that nobody could understand his product.  I went to his website.  On his product page he used the word “solution” over 60 times!  I then copied the text, replaced the word “solution” with “crap” and posted it on the forum.  I then explained that he obviously had very “crappy” copywriting.  And if you are selling a “solution”–then what exactly are you selling?  Sounds like fertilizer to me.

For heaven sakes, carpet is a solution, law is a solution, paint is a solution, a light bulb is a solution, corn is a solution, dog food is a solution–exactly which solution is your product?  You can replace solution with just about anything–again, an unarticulated word.  The only case where the word solution has to be used is when describing a liquid solution in chemistry.  Uhh…if you are selling chemical solutions–then ignore everything I’ve just said.

Heck, I’m surprised a high-tech marketer hasn’t named his kid “Solution.”  Or, since it seems to be used to describe all the products, then perhaps solution 1, solution 2, solution 3 (any more solutions and he would have to be a Mormon or a Catholic).  At least then he would have an entire family of solutions–sounds like a chem lab!

As such, whenever possible, the word solution should not be used to describe a product–it is just bad copywriting (period).  Is it software? Then call it software.  Is it a network interface card–then call it a NIC (we love acronyms) or something–just not a solution!  Is it CRM software?  Enough said.

But STOP calling everything a solution. If for the life of you, you don’t want to “call it what it is,” then don’t be lazy–get a Thesaurus (there’s one built into Word–or you can Google it).  Hearing everyone call their product a solution (even “solution” selling) just ticks me off and makes me waste time writing ditty’s like this one–which, by the way, is also a solution (to fix bad copywriting).

Ted Finch aka Chanimal (Chanimal – The Ultimate Resource for Software Marketing)

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