Clear vs Clever

“The same 26 letters can tell any story in the world.”

As creators, it’s tempting to use fancy lexicons. Why are we paid so well, if not to create?

These days, however, fancy is the new normal. Even failing companies work at offices with unlimited beer.

So how do we become remarkable?

First, delineate the stakeholders reading your copy:

  1. Customers
  2. Non customers

Customers love you, at least a bit, because they’re paying you. Fancy jargon is OK, because like the fancy restaurant, “you’re paying for the atmosphere.

Non customers, on the other hand, are unimpressed. They don’t understand where you get off with your pricing, your logo, your tweets. They don’t enjoy the full-screen video that pops up on your home page without warning, activating their speakers in a previously quiet cubicle.

Non customers are just looking for the truth. This is why I tell every startup I work with to be clever with your customers and clear with your prospects.

When the cow’s in the barn, you can brand it. Approach it with a hot iron in the field? It runs.