What is the meaning of business buzzwords?
Buzzwords are important sounding terms regularly used in business to impress and gain attention and have become fashionable by being used a lot.
Business Leaders can create a more significant impact on the team and other stakeholders by conversing with trendy business buzzwords and using them in daily conversations. The business buzzwords used must be commonly understood to avoid losing the message.
What is the importance of business buzzwords?
Business buzzwords are essential because they can simplify complex concepts and ideas into a simple word or phrase that is easy to understand by everyone and has become a common language currency over time. As a result, buzzwords are used frequently in office environments and can be a vital part of the corporate culture.
There are many office buzzwords, marketing buzzwords, and business buzzwords which have become very popular in the current time. We will explore the Top 50 Trending business buzzwords in this article.
List of Trending Business Buzzwords with their meaning
1. Table stakes
Table stakes are the bare minimum stake a business must have to earn a place at the table or be in the consideration set. It’s used in a business context when you mean that something must be done as a basic necessity for the business to be competitive.
Funnel is a popular business buzzword as it helps business owners understand and leverage the customer journey to drive business growth. There can be multiple funnels in business, like a sales funnel or a marketing funnel. In essence, a funnel would refer to how a company is driving awareness with the target audience and then moving them to have interest in the product, then purchasing the product, and then continuing to upsell or cross-sell other offerings to increase the customer lifetime value.
One of the ways we see digital business owners use funnels is via advertising on Facebook, which leads you to the landing page where they offer a freebie or a low-cost product or service like a webinar. Then, during the webinar, they entice you to buy the higher-value offering.
3. Headwinds and Tailwinds
Headwinds refer to the challenges or hurdles which can come in the way of business and pose potential threats, while tailwinds are opportunities which can propel business growth further. For instance, an increase in taxes on a particular product can be a headwind for the seller as it can impact sales negatively, but a reduction in taxes would be a tailwind as it will increase the consumption of the product.
4. Blue Ocean
“Blue Ocean Strategy is the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demand.” Blueoceanstrategy.com
With intense competition across categories, businesses strive to look to create a space via product or marketing innovation where they can have a first-mover advantage or make authority in a low-competition space. This is referred to as the blue ocean strategy.
Tenets are a set of beliefs or principles defined by the team that the group accepts and strives to uphold. It’s a great way to set up rules of engagement or to operate in the team, which builds a consistent culture.
6. Pain points
Pain points are issues faced by current or potential customers of a business. Pain points include any problems the customer may experience along their journey of transacting with the company or brand. Businesses must have a deep understanding of customer pain points and should actively work on resolving these issues and delighting the customers to win in the long term.
Hyperlocal relates to focusing on customers concerning a small community or geographical area. Hyperlocal businesses build a local ecosystem that enables customers to buy anything from their neighborhood stores. For instance, lots of E-commerce businesses focus on going hyperlocal to provide speedy delivery to customers.
In business terms, Digitalization is using digital channels or technology to provide new business avenues and revenue streams on the digital front. For example, an offline retailer can massively benefit from complementing the offline channel with online channels to reach a broader set of customers and grow the business via digitization.
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Automation is a key to scaling the business and frequently used buzzword. With Automation, companies can drive greater efficiency by replacing repetitive tasks with automated processes, thus freeing up employees for greater value work.
10. Unique Value Proposition (UVP) or Unique Selling Point (USP)
A unique value proposition (UVP), aka Unique Selling point (USP), is a statement that talks about your product or service’s distinct features or benefits to potential customers.
It clearly explains how your product solves the customer pain points and provides a solid reason for your target customers to choose your product over the competition.
Freemium refers to a business model in which essential services are provided free while the customers must pay for more advanced features. It’s a great way to acquire customers by offering products or services for free and continuing to upsell advanced features to increase lifetime customer value.
It’s a very frequently used marketing buzzword. However, if you look for e-mail marketing tools like Mailchimp, you can get the free service with limited features until a threshold of certain subscribers, which you need to pay for more premium features.
12. Move the Needle
Move the needle refers to making a meaningful impact in business. With multiple decisions the companies need to make, there is always a prioritization framework that the business owners must consider and prioritize actions which move the needle.
A business ecosystem is an interaction between different entities and teams to create and share collective value for a standard set of customers.
For example, your company ecosystem may include businesses you outsource business functions to, stakeholders that provide you with funding, firms or vendors that provide the technologies you need to operate your business or even teams that work together to deliver a specific project or product. Its essential to have a synergy in the business ecosystem for the business to thrive.
14. Downstream Impact
Downstream impact refers to the outcomes, benefits, or costs resulting from decisions or actions you take in a particular area. There are multiple dependencies in business, and change in a specific area often impacts other parts of the company.
For example, If you are a soap manufacturer, a reduction in palm oil prices which is a crucial ingredient in your product, would result in the downstream impact of lower manufacturing costs, higher profits, or even greater sales if you plough back the increased savings to drive promotion or marketing for your products.
Disruption, in essence, means challenging the status quo. Regarding business strategy, “disruption” refers to a process in which new market entrants come armed with non-conventional business models and eventually replace industry incumbents.
Disruptive thinking allows you to challenge and optimize the processes or offerings key to running your business. Netflix moving from selling DVDs to online streaming subscriptions is an excellent example of how disruptive thinking helps organizations survive and thrive.
Unpack means to explore and examine in detail. It is an often used business buzzword, as with many changes in the business environment, new tools and concepts need to be deeply understood or unpacked.
For example, someone may say the agenda of the meeting is to unpack this concept before arriving at a functional decision. Its a more straightforward way of saying we need the idea to be understood in detail by the stakeholders.
The flywheel effect happens when small wins for your business build on each other over time and eventually gain so much momentum that growth almost seems to happen by itself – similar to the rate created by a flywheel on a rowing machine.
For example, Amazon Flywheel refers to focus on getting more supplies which drivers greater demand, which in turn brings more suppliers to the marketplace, leading to lower cost structure as the business grows.
Amplify buzzword means the extension of some action or idea to unlock more opportunities for the business. Also, Amplification is a standard marketing buzzword to define methods to reach a wider audience.
The acronym OKR stands for “Objectives and Key Results.” OKRs are a very effective goal-setting and leadership tool for communicating within the team and organization on what you want to accomplish and what milestones will be met along the journey to meet the desired results.
It’s a widely used tool and trending leadership and business buzzword across leading global organizations.
20. Low Hanging Fruits
Low-hanging fruit refers to easy-to-accomplish tasks to drive more excellent value for business with high velocity in a particular situation.
For a business, multiple actions might be needed to achieve the desired outcome, and each of those actions may take a different level of effort and time. In this situation, low-hanging fruits would refer to tasks which take less time or effort but still have a meaningful impact on the outcome.
21. Sacred Cows
Sacred Cows is a business buzzword we often encounter in organizations. A sacred cow is a deeply-held belief by the team that is not to be questioned. Unfortunately, over time, some sacred cows become a part of the culture and entitlement of the group, which should be continuously challenged to build a culture of transparency and trust.
Some examples of this could be ways of communication, activities at the workplace, and questionable business practices which need to be challenged by the leaders and team alike.
22. Customer Centricity
Customer Centricity refers to a business mindset and approach to putting the customer first at every stage. Customer centricity means you put the customer at the centre of everything you do.
For online business owners, in-store and digital experiences and customer service should start with gaining a deep understanding of the customers and be designed to provide a consistently great experience and add value. For example, Amazon is considered one of the most customer-centric companies, which is a crucial reason for its success.
If you’re competitor focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering.Jeff Bezos
Personalization in business refers to designing a product or service in a way that is tailor-made to meet the customer’s requirements or needs.
For example, an E-commerce company would look granularly at the customer journey and recommend products similar to customer viewing or shopping history. Another famous example of this business buzzword is how social media channels customize feeds and advertisements relevant to individuals.
24. Thought Leader or Influencer
A thought leader or influencer is someone who, based on their expertise and perspective in an industry, is a trusted source, offers unique guidance, and inspires innovation. Thought leaders are informed opinion leaders and the go-to people in their field of expertise.
25. Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence have become trendy buzzwords with advanced technology. Initially, the use was more in the online and tech companies, but now every consumer-facing organization is looking at ways to leverage this technology and supercharge the business. Both are used often when we speak of data, analytics, big data and new technologies.
Artificial Intelligence is a broader concept that refers to machines’ ability to perform human-like tasks intelligently. At the same time, Machine Learning is an application of AI based on the idea that we should feed machines with data and let them learn for themselves.
Strawman is a business buzzword which refers to preparing a blueprint or a skeletal structure for a deck or document, which the team can iterate on and optimize with relevant content to make an impactful presentation.
A strawman is an effective tool as it helps align the structure and flow early and reduces redundant and wasted effort, leading to more productive work.
27. Return on Investment
Return on investment (ROI), as the name suggests, is a ratio which helps us calculate the benefit we receive on an investment in relation to the investment cost. It’s a widely used business buzzword as it allows us to decide on our investment prudently. For example, if a business invests 100$ on a campaign and gets 150$ in return, it’s a 50% return on investment.
Return on investment = (Amount Returned-Amount Invested) / Amount Invested
28. Bottom line
The bottom line is a trendy business buzzword with both economic and language contexts. However, the bottom line may mean the core part of your message when communicating with stakeholders.
In a Financial context, the bottom line is the company’s net profit. Another business buzzword, Topline, refers to the gross revenue of the company or the total income the company generates in a particular period.
29. Customer Experience (CX) or User Experience (UX)
The customer experience (CX) or User Experience (UX) refers to the overall customers’ perceptions and feelings resulting from interactions with a brand’s products and services.
CX (UX) is about how a business engages with its customers at every point of their buying journey – from marketing to sales to customer service and everywhere in between.
30. Future Proof
Future proof is an impactful business buzzword which refers to strategizing and executing for business so that it continues to stay relevant and thrive in the future amid a constantly changing environment.
A future-proof strategy helps business leaders step back and think about sustaining in the long term, hence a powerful buzzword in business circles.
Inclusion in the workplace is one of the essential keys to retention and hence a powerful management buzzword. However, when employees don’t feel that their organization’s ideas, presence or contributions are truly valued or taken seriously, they eventually leave.
Hence, inclusive culture and leadership are critical to the success of any organization. Even in terms of products or service design, inclusion plays an important role. For example, like in the travel industry, a hotel needs to consider the experience of people with disability during a holiday to remain inclusive.
A tradeoff is an exchange that occurs as a compromise or an opportunity cost of a specific action or decision. For example, you might take a day off work to go for a family outing, gaining the opportunity of being with your loved ones while losing a day’s wages as the cost of that opportunity.
In business, leaders are constantly battling with tradeoffs and must make choices in the business’s and stakeholders’ best interest.
33. Big Picture
Big picture, aka Strategic thinking for business leaders, means that they should be able to step back and visualize the future or how a particular action fits in the overall scheme of things.
Business Leaders should constantly strive to help the team see the big picture, so they are inspired and engaged with the overall outcome their actions can help achieve.
In today’s digital world, data is the King! All the companies rely on data to craft new business plans and marketing strategies and address the fast-evolving customer needs.
A business needs to be data backed in decision making and strategic thinking, as it helps in more robust actions, leading to a higher probability of success.
A proxy is an alternate which can act on behalf of the primary source. For example, like in businesses, market research and customer surveys can become proxies for customers – something that’s especially dangerous when you’re inventing and designing products.
For the product or service to click with the target audience, business owners need to put themselves in the shoes of customers and gain a direct and deep understanding of the customers.
The wheelhouse is an exciting business buzzword and refers to one’s area of expertise. It’s also referred to as the core competency of a business or individual.
As a business owner, having a clear understanding of your wheelhouse is very important to your success.
37. Gen Y (Millennials) and Gen Z
Marketing to Millennials and Gen Z forms the core of marketing for many new-gen businesses, as these target cohorts have unique lifestyles and preferences. Millennials, also called Gen Y, refers to individuals born between the 1980s and late 1990s, while Gen Z or Post-Millennials relates to people born from the late 1990s (1997) to 2012.
The buzzword Turnkey is based on the concept of only needing to turn the key to unlock the doors to begin operations.
Turnkey is a trendy concept in business, which also means business in a box. A turnkey business or product is ready to use as-is the moment a new owner purchases it. In the online world, there are many turnkey businesses where the owner sets up websites or online businesses, which are sold as-is on marketplaces.
Brainstorming is a crucial business buzzword and is used quite often. Brainstorming is a group thinking or problem-solving method involving the in-the-moment contribution or whiteboarding of creative ideas and solutions by the group.
During brainstorming, every group member is encouraged to think aloud and suggest as many ideas as possible based on their diverse knowledge. This leads to a broader array of ideas and more inclusive solutions, which is vital to the success of any business.
40. Inflection point
An inflection point is when an organization must effectively respond to disruptive change in the business environment or face decline. An inflection point, in general, is a decisive moment in the course of business that marks the start of significant change.
For instance, with the advancing technology and modernization in retail, mom-and-pop grocery shops are at an inflection point. They must keep up with changes and stay relevant as a neighborhood store.
41. Deep dive or RCA
Deep Dive or Root cause analysis (RCA) is discovering the root cause of a problem to identify the right solutions.
It is an important leadership buzzword, as businesses can get into massive risk if the problems are solved at the surface level. Taking the healthcare analogy, a doctor needs to treat the root cause and not the symptoms alone. Likewise, for a business to thrive, people need to find a more systemic solution to a problem.
42. Close the loop
In the business dictionary, “closing the loop” means to follow up on and close out an area of discussion. For a business or a team to achieve its objectives, it must strive to close the loop on actions so that the essential steps can get done.
43. Target Audience
A target audience refers to a business’s relevant cohort of customers – the key reason a company exists!
Target audience is a crucial business buzzword because the business needs to be very clear about who is the target audience or customer segment to which the company caters to. It’s one of the critical variables to consider in business planning, product or service design and development, and even marketing and promotional campaigns.
In a business enterprise, downsizing means reducing the number of employees on the operating payroll.
Some users distinguish downsizing from a layoff, with downsizing intended to be a permanent downscaling and a layoff intended to be a temporary downscaling in which employees may later be rehired.
45. Out of the box or Innovation
Out-of-the-box thinking is exploring non-conventional ideas that are creative, unusual, and not limited or controlled by rules or tradition. Like to solve a complex puzzle, you’ll have to think outside the box.
With a constantly changing environment and cut-throat competition, a business needs to continuously innovate or think out of the box to stay relevant.
46. AB test
A/B testing, aka split testing in business, is an experimental technique wherein you split your audience into two segments to test variations of a campaign, application or website and determine which performs better. In other words, you can show version A of a piece of content to one half of your audience and version B to another, which helps the business to identify the more optimal experience or product before rolling it out to the broader group.
47. Holy Grail
It refers to the most desired outcome for the business. It’s the highest standard the company wants to uphold. For example, E-commerce can be considered the Holy Grail in retail as it lowers costs, diminishes geographical issues and makes shopping a friendly, well-informed, convenient and futuristic experience.
Mechanism refers to a system of parts working together in a machine. Similarly, in the business context, a mechanism refers to having a systemic and process-oriented fix to a challenge or opportunity.
Setting up a mechanism helps the team become more productive, and also helps ensure no redundant activities take place as it brings alignment in the process or team.
49. Safe space
As well-being and transparency become essential in the workplace, safe space has become an often used office buzzword. A safe space in business is where people can speak up without fear of judgement and adverse actions.
A safe space can be set up for leaders to have open and honest conversations with the team on a sensitive topic and understand the issues concerning an individual or a group.
50. Powerful Leadership Buzzword
Radical Candor is a powerful leadership buzzword, and it refers to the ability to challenge directly and show that you care personally simultaneously. However, for leaders to create a high-performance team, just challenging them isn’t enough; They need to balance this with a sense of empathy and care for the team.
Conclusion: Business Buzzwords are a great way to create impact
There are positive benefits a business can gain from the usage of business buzzwords, as it helps create a common language, a shared identity, and a more robust shared culture. However, to achieve these benefits, leaders must be sure they have defined the words and that the team shares that understanding.
Even when applying for an interview, try to sprinkle the appropriate buzzwords into your resume to demonstrate that you are a part of the industry. This is a great way to connect with potential recruiters and create an impression.
So, there are multiple benefits of using business buzzwords, as they help with practical and high-impact communication and become a common cultural currency over time for a business. For more leadership and business ideas, check out our leadership blog.