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5 Companies that are Getting Marketing Language Right

How many times have you looked at a company’s website and come away still not knowing what they do? Maybe they build wizardly rainmakers but who can be sure? The homepage hits you with: “Improve your economics with the increased cloudification of your networks driven by the widespread growth of loT, mobility and 5G.”

In other words, in order to know anything about this company, you need to speak telco. But since your site’s homepage is a public business card, why not give the rest of us a sentence or two about why we should care? If the summary of what you do is help keep companies safe from massive data breaches and save them money at the same time, then why not say that?

So what companies are doing communication right? Here are five to start.

1). 23 and me–at Interactive Day San Diego last week, Jean Freeman, agency head of Zambezi was asked about brands she thinks are doing a good job delivering strong, clear messaging. She cited 23 and me, the genetic testing service that enables you to trace your ancestry, giving it high marks for “synthesizing complex information with infographics and making it accessible for consumers.”

Their homepage below not only tells you exactly what they do, it makes you instantly curious about your favorite subject (you).

23 and Me

2). Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer. All I can say is I hope they pay their copywriters well because they’re brilliant. Like many people, I love Trader Joe’s for its great prices, quirky hippie vibe and friendly bell-ringing ‘crew members.’

But the thing they do really, really well is create desire for their products. Who needs terms like ‘demand creation’ when you can get moved to buy a box of lemon cake mix you didn’t know you wanted until you read a magic blurb like this:

trader joe's

Joe, you had me at ‘Gilding this lemony lily of a dessert…’

3). AirBnB–yes this company isn’t exactly an up-and-comer and they have a massive ad budget, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve props for nailing the wanderlust in all of us. Check out their homepage below and tell me if it doesn’t make you want to get your wheeled North Face duffel out of the garage right this minute.


Notice the word ‘unique’ is on this site as well as 23 and me. Sounds basic but we all crave uniqueness. In the Maslow hierarchy this fits somewhere between ‘love/belonging’ and the highest state of ‘self actualization.’ We all want to believe who we are and what we do matter–whether it’s our DNA or our experiences. AirBnB takes the fear out of where to start and let’s you imagine what your living room in New Delhi could look like. It dares you to go somewhere with strong images and just a few words.

4). Kyriba–going a completely different direction, here’s an example of a rapidly growing technology company in San Diego. They’re not a household name, and their product is a very niche enterprise software for businesses who need help with their treasury management.

They aren’t marketing to consumers, but see that? Even I can explain in one sentence what they do. Why? Because, although their site goes deep into geek speak about cloud solutions once you enter it, their homepage is clean and clear. The language is about you–not them. ‘We understand your challenges,’ hits another couple of points on Maslow’s hierarchy: ‘safety’ and ‘esteem’–the need to ensure your company is respected and engaging in safe financial practices. You’re then invited for a consultation. A very tight entry page for a complex suite of products.


5). Canva–I will admit I’m in love with this site and its easy design tools and templates that even a hopeless rookie like me can use. What makes it amazing, though, isn’t the expected elements like the site’s sleek and spare imagery that’s meticulously wrought with an experienced and disciplined hand.

No, what makes it work is the un-intimidating and simple language from the moment you enter the site: ‘Use Canva’s drag-and-drop feature and professional layouts to design consistently stunning graphics.’ Who wouldn’t want consistently stunning? If you haven’t been here yet, this is a seriously cool site and it makes downloading free templates for everything from a resume to a baby shower invite really easy, which addresses a pain point many people would have when considering a DIY graphic design site. Notice the first word in this headline is ‘Easily.’ Boom.


Good communication is about making it easy for the person who’s reading about your company to understand who you are and what you’re offering. It’s also about talking to the customer–their needs, their desires–without crowing right out of the gate. It’s challenging yet intuitive. These five companies do a great job striking that balance.