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Is there a cliché cartel?

We all know that the first rule of business and marketing is to be positively different. To achieve it B2B organisations invest in establishing their special position in the market. They invest in the messaging to support the position. Media to broadcast it. The means to measure it. But when it comes to putting it on stage and drawing up the curtain… there’s nothing there. Ta da. Well not exactly nothing but something so familiar, seen so many times before that it might as well be invisible.

Take a look at any B2B industry and see for yourself. Construction website A looks just like B, there’s the men in the yellow hats. Financial banner C might as well be D, nice suit. And don’t you just love the blue glow of technology brands E, F and G? It all feels a bit suspicious. These brands don’t have to do a lot to stand out, but no one is breaking ranks. Somewhere there must take place a shadowy summit of all the CMOs who shake hands, in their suits, under a dim light bulb and agree not to take market share via creative marketing.

Or maybe I’m the most paranoid B2B creative on earth. Either way anyone who risks incurring the wrath of the cliché cartel deserves applause. Although they’d probably prefer to remain nameless to protect their families, thanks to Tero Ylitalo and Jo Brealy who won our competition to name and shame their least favourite clichés. May Shutterstock Bob and The Spade mildly irritate you no more.