How can I trust you if I don’t understand what you are saying?

Innocent are a great brand.  They’ve got a great product, but they also know how to connect with their customers.  From the packaging and beyond they come across as natural and friendly.  Watching this video by the founders of Innocent is five minutes well spent on how they do this; how they use natural language.

“A lot of businesses don’t speak the way they talk.  They speak the way they think a business should speak.  They start using language that isn’t real language, that isn’t language you’d talk to your friends or your family.  So our thing is don’t use any claptrap that you wouldn’t use to explain to your grandma what Innocent is as a business.  If she doesn’t get it, then why should somebody else get it?  Why should someone else have to wade through your layers of jargon and corporate waffle.  Just use the words that you are comfortable with…”

Friendships exist within companies, they exist outside companies.  Friendships are about speaking a shared language with a simple vocabulary.

Organisations strive to be friendly; they try to be social, open, transparent and service driven with employees and customers (look at your average mission statement to see how companies crave to be those things).  Yet beyond this vaneer they hide behind a language that your friends (who are not part of that corporate vacuum), your family, your granny would be clueless about. Innocent prove that you can build a successful business thinking and acting as friends rather than as the faceless corporate-speak bureaucrat.


  1. Ria Sheppard · Wednesday, 9 January, 2013

    Interesting. This is something financial organisations are still woeful at – lately I have been looking at mortgage sites and there seems to be a tacit assumption that if it’s ‘the industry term’ then that’s OK, no matter what customers think of it. LTV is a great example: no-one seems to be working hard enough to knock the jargon out of these difficult subjects (Martin Lewis excepted – he always explains things extremely well, in a way that your granny qould understand). Obviously comparison sites are well placed to take advantage of a similar simple approach…

  2. Sam McLeod · Thursday, 9 October, 2014

    > So our thing is don’t use any claptrap that you wouldn’t use to explain to your grandma what Innocent is as a business.

    ‘Your grandma’ could quite feasibly be explaining to ‘you’ what Innocent is as a business! Why should explaining to your grandma be the litmus test of understanding in an apparently sliding scale of people who can and can’t understand stuff. It’s sexist, ageist and patronising in one easy, lazy swoop. If this is about language and making your brand accessible and focussed through language, does that have to be done at the expense of people who are female and have grandchildren?

Leave a Reply