A Search for the Obvious

Marketing is often a search for the obvious. Since you can’t change a mind once it’s made up, your marketing efforts have to be devoted to using ideas and concepts already installed in the brain.

Jack Trout & Al Ries, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Jargon - or in our case, the secret language of CrossFit - is a double-edged sword.

On the one hand, it’s a signal you’re on the inside, that you speak the code, that you’ve been initiated. It’s a sign that you’ve been given secrets most haven’t been privy to. Because of that, the jargon makes you feel special & part of the club.

On the other hand, words, phrases, & acronyms like WOD, EMOM, metcon, snatch, kipping pull-ups, constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity, functional fitness, & anything that has anything to with modal domains are mysterious & scary. They’re potholes on the road to getting somebody in your door for the first time. They’ll be used as perfectly reasonable excuses to say, “This place isn’t for me.”

Most of us don’t have the confidence to invite ourselves into the secret club, to knock on the locked door knowing full well we don’t have the password.

Your website can be an open invitation, or it can be that locked door. The jargon you’re using to communicate to the uninitiated is often what makes the difference.

Work hard to see it & to find the kind of empathetic language that an outsider will understand & be attracted to. Then work just as hard to strengthen the secret handshakes & coded language once they’ve joined your tribe.

The feeling they’ll get from those efforts - from the journey of not knowing to knowing, the movement from outsider to insider - is just as valuable to their experience as your clean bathrooms & great coaches.

Patrick Cummings