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Copywriting Clichés to Avoid like the Plague

Updated: May 1, 2023

If I hear “one-stop shop” one more time…

Marilyn Monroe

Copywriting is an art form that requires creativity and finesse. But, like any art, there are certain shortcuts (namely, cliches in our line of work) that have been done to death. These tired expressions and overused phrases not only sound unoriginal, but they’re not specific to your brand, they overpromise, and more often than not, they make your message fall flat.

So, buckle up, grab a pen, and get ready to take notes, because we're about to dive into the copywriting cliches you need to avoid like the plague. From cheesy taglines to hackneyed buzzwords, I’ve got ‘em all.

Copywriting cliché nr. 1: One-stop shop

I’ll start with the copywriting cliché I hate the most: "one-stop shop” and while it means well, it just doesn’t deliver. It’s often used to convey that a business offers a wide range of products or services, making it the only place customers need to go for all their needs. While the idea of communicating the convenience of your business is not bad, the phrase itself has become so overused that it no longer holds the same weight it once did. When customers see the phrase "one-stop shop," they often immediately roll their eyes and tune out the rest of your message. They've likely seen it used countless times before, and it's unlikely to make them think any differently about your business.

Solution: Instead of using clichéd phrases, try to come up with unique and creative ways to communicate the value of your business like this audacious skincare company.

Now, if you reeeally like the idea of “one-stop shop”, why not say:

  • Full-service

  • Integrated

  • End-to-end

  • Complete solution provider

Copywriting cliché nr. 2: The future of…

If I were to design a product, software or service that was unlike anything else on the market at time, I would definitely love to think it’ll revolutionize the future of the industry but that’s not something you say lightly and yet every other day there’s something new popping up that’s “the future of…”.

Always have in mind that your target audience is not just a mass of people. They’re individuals and no person needs or searches for the future of anything. People want solutions to problems.

Another issue with “the future of…” is that it seems like your product or service is not established yet because of 3 reasons:

  1. If it really were “the future of…”, you’d already know it by now

  2. If it were so good, you wouldn’t need such grandiose words to describe it. The quality product/service would speak for itself or your message would be so sharp that you wouldn’t need to call yourself “the future of…” anything. Think Apple or Nike. They never said they were the future of anything but they both revolutionized their respective industries in one way or another.

  3. You’re overpromising and people have a tendency to be very judgmental and loud when they’re disappointed.

Solution: I, personally, recommend staying away from this structure but if you really have to use something similar, why not something like:

  • We aim to lead the change towards

  • Setting the new standard for

  • Potentially the next big thing in

Copywriting cliché nr. 3: Your trusted…

The phrase that makes our eyes roll so hard, they could compete in a marathon.

Every company wants to be trusted, but simply saying that you are doesn't make it so. Trust is earned through your actions and the quality of your services, not just a catchy tagline. This phrase makes a brand sound insincere and generic so let’s put it out of its misery.

Instead of cliches, best to focus on demonstrating why your company deserves trust. Highlight your company's values, showcase your past successes and talk about the measures you take to ensure customer satisfaction. These tangible examples of trustworthiness will do much more for your brand image than a tired tagline ever could.

Bottom line, ditch the cliches because when everyone says the same thing, it loses its power no matter how powerful it might seem. Get creative with your copywriting and prove that your company is worth the time and effort.

But that’s just me… thinking out loud.


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