How to Talk like a Boss: 20 Trending Business Buzzwords, Decoded
Sometimes the conference room can feel like a foreign country with all of the tricky terminology being thrown around. Let’s admit it: we’ve all done a secret Internet search mid-meeting when someone mentions a term like “deliverables” or “low-hanging fruit.”
Get in the know by studying up on these 20 trending business buzzwords – trust us, your boss will be impressed.
Beauty for a Purpose's Business Buzzwords Dictionary
Blue Sky: the belief that anything is possible. It’s a type of creative thinking that leads to new ideas and innovative approaches to business. It can also be used to mean ‘pie in the sky,’ which has a negative connotation of an unattainable goal.
Circle Back: to revisit a subject at a later date. When interacting with people at a business level, ‘circling back’ means leaving things to develop and evolve before going back to them.
Deep Dive: a more thorough analysis of a given situation. This can be in the form of a technique used to quickly immerse a team in a situation with the aim of problem-solving or coming up with a new creative idea or product.
Deliverable: the completed task, outcome, product or result of a project or initiative that ties back to a business objective. This is probably one of the most common corporate buzzwords you’ll come across!
Digestible: easy to understand, concise. In business, this means explaining complicated information to customers so they can easily understand it or reducing the amount of unnecessary information so that it’s easier to digest.
Disruption: an innovation that really shakes things up and eventually replaces established businesses and products with a new market and value network – not to be confused with guerilla marketing.
Ducks in a Row: organization (a place for everything, and everything in its place). In business, by ‘getting your ducks in a row’ you make all the necessary preparations in order to successfully complete a task.
Evergreen: an idea or brand story that will stay relevant over time.
Hard Stop: the time when a meeting must end (because you’ve got important things to do!) and a polite way to let other parties know that it’s not up for negotiation.
Lean in: stepping up, pushing forward and all other terms for being more assertive at work.
Learnings: things that have been realized and learned through working on something and that should ideally be put into practice to improve a product, service or customer experience.
Low-Hanging Fruit: an audience or goal that can be reached or attained with minimal effort.
Optimization: the process of making something bigger, better, faster, stronger or finding a completely different way to do things. The crux is to do this in the most cost-effective way possible or it will more likely be seen as an improvement, not an optimization.
Percolate: to spread and nurture an idea. Think of a coffee pot with dry beans or grains as the start of an idea. Pour in water, hit the switch and with a bit of time and heat applied, the original grain of an idea splutters into life and develops into something exciting and attainable.
Synergy: cooperative interaction between all parties involved — kumbaya! But this doesn’t mean sharing muffins in the morning or stories around the cooler. It’s about cooperation between individuals, departments or companies resulting in an actual accomplishment.
Thought Leader: an expert with major credibility in his or her field. Today, plenty of individuals and companies are competing to be known as a ‘thought leader’ in their industry. It’s what is known to set businesses apart from others and is definitely a business buzzword that’s sure to keep humming through 2019 and beyond.
Unicorn: the Holy Grail of the business world — such as passing the billion-dollar value mark or a statistical rarity like finding pirate treasure and using it to create a hugely successful startup that sells edible shoes. Before you know it, you’re on the Forbes list of the richest people in the world.
Unpack: to examine an idea or concept, piece by piece. For example, when speaking to a techie, you would ‘unpack’ a file into its original form after it has been compressed to take up less storage space.
UX (User Experience): the feeling surrounding one’s engagement with a particular product or service. UX professionals work to improve the usability, accessibility and pleasure of an interaction with a particular product or service.
20 Additional Business Buzzwords Trending in 2019
Algorithm: produces the same output information when given the same input information. When grouped together, algorithms are capable of carrying out complex tasks – like giving you a list of source material that is most relevant to an online search or writing a computer program. This business buzzword never gets old thanks to Google search algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin.
Bandwidth: the energy, time or general mental capacity needed to deal with a situation. When used as a business buzzword, it is also the amount of data that can be transmitted in a certain amount of time.
Blockchain: a digital database holding information (records of financial transactions, for instance) that can be shared and used by a large decentralized, publicly accessible network. Not to be confused with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain is the technology that allows Bitcoin users to be able to exchange currency without being afraid that they’ll be ripped off or get a counterfeit Bitcoin.
Chatbot: a computer program that simulates a one-on-one human conversation via text or voice interactions. The rule of thumb is to enhance the user experience with instant responsiveness.
Customer-centric: any product, service or experience that puts the customer first – this includes at the point of sale as well as after the sale with a view to drive profit and gain a competitive advantage.
Digital Transformation: a significant, strategic transformation of business activities, processes and models. The aim of digital transformation is to increase business opportunities by using the latest digital technologies that are having a profound impact on society today.
Freemium: a basic version of a product that is offered free of charge and will only cost you a subscription or once-off fee should you upgrade to a premium version for extra functionality. This includes websites, marketing tools and even mobile games.
Granular: the amount of detail in a model or decision-making process – the more granularity, the deeper the level of detail.
Growth Hacking: marketing tactics used by startups, entrepreneurs and businesses with small budgets (and even those with big budgets). It involves ways of engaging in free marketing like blogging, social media and content marketing.
Ideation: the process of creating new ideas.
Immersive Experience: technology that changes the way people perceive reality, usually involving augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR). This buzzword is being taken up by businesses to better absorb their customers in the purchase experience or to help employees minimize errors during business operations. Devices include smart glasses and headsets, and even 3D rooms to personalize services, products and customer experiences.
Internet of Things: all the devices you can possibly think of that can connect to the Internet – and a few you probably haven’t thought of like fridges, coffee machines and even bicycles. IoT is one of the golden business buzzwords of 2019 - and with good reason - as we find new devices and ways to connect old, everyday items to the Internet.
Mobile Optimization: websites and products that can be easily downloaded, read and used on mobile devices. Years ago this used to be a nice-to-have feature, but now it’s an absolute must-have.
Nano Influencer: ‘digital citizens’ with between 1,000 and 5,000 followers. They tell their community of followers with whom they have built trust about the products they love and create valuable content for brands.
Organic Reach: the number of people who have seen your post through unpaid distribution. You’ll need an advertising budget to use in conjunction with organic reach tactics if you want to stand out amongst the crowd.
Pain points: nothing to do with acupuncture. Finding customers’ pain points is about understanding their problems or challenges and finding a way to solve these using your products or service.
Pivot: if a product fails, you pivot to a new model. It can be a way to mention a business failure without actually calling it that, or it could be seen as something more positive – a way of being flexible in an extremely uncertain business landscape.
Shop the Look: businesses can add ‘Shop the Look’ links leading to their relevant webstore pages. These allow customers to shop for the items or products used to create a look—typically an outfit or makeup look.
Wearable Tech: technology that you wear – such as fitness bands or watches or smart glasses.
Zillennials: also called Generation Z, these are individuals born between 1995 and 2012. Typically entrepreneurial and tech-savvy, they are characterized by their ferocious media consumption, preference for cool products over cool experiences and propensity to respond positively to edgy campaigns. As a business buzzword of 2019, “Zillennials” has already gotten off to a strong start.