Just by their overuse, the lack of original thought BECOMES OBVIOUS.

7 cliches way past their expiration date

I understand that when a phrase gets repeated enough, it can become a cliche. It can also become part of company’s culture – serving as a form of shorthand for CEOs and office managers – especially when anyone is talking about branding and marketing.

And while cliches may have started out as a new way to say the same old thing, they quickly become tired mantras that people keep repeating to convince themselves they are doing something important. Just by their overuse, the lack of original thought becomes glaringly obvious.

So isn’t it time to toss out cliches that are way past their expiration date? 

Here’s my list of the cliches I’d like to trash:

1. “Think outside the box”
Appropriate for the cubicle era perhaps, but this phrase is so worn out it should be collecting Social Security.

2. “Pick the low-hanging fruit”
You’d think all the reachable fruit would be gone by now.

3. “We need to be Customer-centric”
We should be focused on the people that keep us in business? What a novel idea.

4. “We’re a one-stop shop” or “We do it all”
You mean I can pick up my groceries, have my dog groomed, wash my car, and pay my bills while I get a brazilian wax?

5. “We treat you like family.”  
When’s Christmas dinner this year? And do you really have to invite Uncle Bob? His puns are kind of annoying.

6. “Get your ducks in a row”
Why would anyone have so many ducks?

7. “(We’re different from our competition because) We have great member service.”
And your competition says the same thing.

Any marketing & branding cliches drive you crazy? Let me know in the comments below.

Kent Dicken

CEO/El Queso Grande of iDiz. When not designing logos or consulting with clients, Kent is likely renovating a community park, repairing the 115-year old home of iDiz, or growing hops and brewing craft beer.