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Marketing Metaphors in Business

by | Mar 14, 2012

Or, ‘Hitting a Home Run’ with Snowbound through Comprehensive Software and Services

Aside from the usual business terms that are so often used (and abused) like ‘win-win situation’, ‘mission critical’, and ‘market leading’, it’s amazing how much of the language of corporate culture is based upon terms borrowed from sports, and other venues. For example my favorite sport of baseball has a wide variety of phrases that have been adopted for business communication. How many of us have been at presentations that feature clichés including; ‘knock it out of the park’, ‘triple play’, ‘sweet spot’ and ‘all-star performance’ when describing a firm’s products or services to basically put forth that they’re ‘championship caliber’ in what they do?

Recently, in our own marketing, we’ve used the sport (and phraseology) of running to highlight our Pinnacle Support Plan – to ‘achieve peak performance’. The four phases of which include:

  • Evaluate & Verify – Get Up & Running Quickly
    • Develop & Integrate — The Right Tools
    • Launch & Maintain — Got You Covered
    • Leverage & Accelerate — Ahead of the Pack

So we’re guilty too of using metaphor to ‘click’ with customers in an effort to provide them with more than just a product or service, as we really do want their business to succeed, and to help them attain their goals.

Another sport that is the most popular in the US and rife with phrases and imagery that has been adapted by organizations, to help set them apart from their competition, is football. Terms such as ‘touchdown’, ‘scoring drive’, ‘scrimmage’ and of course the ever-popular; ‘the best defense is a good offense, are all meant to convey success and strength – for positive positioning to customers and prospects.

In my own marketing career, I’ve often used various topical metaphors to highlight a company’s offerings, calling upon a wide variety of subject matter such as the automobile, space (as in ‘the final frontier’), wildlife, history and even the symphony – to help clarify and present a diverse array of products and services. With this in mind, Snowbound’s document and image viewing and conversion applications and toolkits are:

  • High-speed like a bullet train
  • Built for performance like a Ferrari
  • Agile like a cat
  • Flexible like a gymnast
  • Easy-to-use like a computer mouse
  • Cutting-edge like nanotechnology

To quote John Cusack’s character in the film ‘Grosse Point Blank’, how’s that for a ‘barrage of imagery’?