Business Vocabulary

Business vocabulary words and phrases are terms used to describe events, outcomes, tasks, entities and processes in the workplace. All forms of the written word—from fiction to journalism to essay writing to poetry—benefit from a strong vocabulary. To that end, the time you spend improving your vocabulary skills is actually time invested in you.

The stronger your business vocabulary is, the better you will be at communicating important thoughts and concepts to others in your work environment. Business vocabulary allows two individuals or groups to hold a simpler, clearer conversation without the need to explain complicated ideas or constantly check that information is understood. While many terms are universal throughout the business world, some vocabulary can be restricted to specific fields of business.

1. Asset

An asset is anything of value that a company or an organization possesses. Assets include goods, products, documents, properties and other resources. Assets might also refer to a grouping of deliverables required by a client or the organization itself.

1.1 Tangibles

The assets, attributes, values and other distinctive elements that make up a brand. This can include the product and its packaging, manufacturing plants, brick and mortar locations, cash, and useful qualities of the brand that are known to exist through experience and knowledge.

1.2 Intangibles

Elements of a brand that are incapable of being touched and often difficult to assign value to. Intangibles assets include trademarks, copyrights, patents, design rights, proprietary expertise, databases, etc. Intangible brand attributes include: brand names, logos, graphic style (e.g. Adidas three stripes), colors, shapes and smells.

2. Market Share

A company’s share of total sales of a given category of product on a given market. Can be expressed either in terms of volume (how many units sold) or value (the worth of units sold).

2.1 Market Leader

A company that has achieved a dominant position—either in scale or influence—within its field. This leading position often comes about because the company was the first to market a certain type of product and, with the protection of a patent, has managed to consolidate its position before direct competition was possible. Alternatively, a company may overtake a previous market leader through greater efficiency and skillful positioning.

3. Branding

A company’s branding includes the name, logo, imagery, colors, typography and language that are used to distinguish it from other businesses. Branding is a critical part of marketing since it determines how others perceive the company.

3.1 Brand Guidelines

A comprehensive document or rule-book affirming the principles of a brand and providing guidance for understanding its legacy, vision, mission, personality and attributes. Brand standards inform staff, external agencies and vendors of the code under which the brand operates. It serves to establish appropriate usage, variants and application of each of the brand assets, and specifies how each element fits together. Synonyms: Brand Standards, Style Guide

  • Brand Manager
  • Brand Ambassador
  • Brand Culture
  • Brand Awareness
  • Brand Image/Identity
  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Standard
  • Brand Values
  • Brand Mission
  • On-Brand
  • Parent Brand
  • Endorsed Brand
  • Sub-Brand
  • Rebranding
  • Co-Branding

3.2 Logo

A brand’s most important and recognizable symbol or other design adopted by the organization to identify its products, uniform, vehicles, etc. Composed of text (brand signature) and image (brand symbol), the logo serves as a company’s flag. The terms logo and trademark are used synchronously. Example: Nike’s swoosh.

3.3 Icon

A small, graphic representation of a brand or brand function, typically within a graphical user interface. An icon helps users recognize a brand, illustrate what a brand does and navigate to or through its app and website. Facebook’s “Like” button is an example of an icon.

3.4 Generic Brand

A brand with little differentiation in its positioning that lacks a recognizable logo or brand assets. Typically, these brands are not advertised and serve as a lower-cost alternative. Example: Walgreens-brand Ibuprofen.

3.5 Trademark

A word, phrase, symbol, and/or design or any combination of those that uniquely identifies one brand. It allows a company to be the sole user of the trademark and ensures that the brand remains distinct from competitors. Unregistered trademarks are typically accompanied by the unregulated ™ symbol, while trademarks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) bear the ® registered trademark symbol. “Trademark” and “logo” are often used synchronously.

3.6 Tagline

A short phrase that communicates a brand’s personality and energy in a distinctive catchphrase that is both succinct and memorable; often a concise embodiment of the brand positioning. Example: Disneyland’s “The happiest place on earth.” or Nike’s “Just do it.”

3.7 Private Label

Private label products are sold under a brand name but manufactured by an outside company. Brands using a third-party to manufacturer private label products have control of the brand packaging, prices and marketing, without owning the production facilities. Example: Kroger’s Private Selection and Simple Truth brands.

4. Touchpoint

Any instance of interaction that a brand has with its audience. Touchpoints allow a brand to build a relationship with the consumer—each point should leave a lasting impression. Examples: A website, customer service interaction, business card, product packaging, social media post or an online review.

5. Liability

A liability is a financial debt, risk or obligation. Liabilities include mortgages, outstanding loans and accrued expenses.

6. Logistics

Logistics are the processes involved in managing and executing a complex task or project involving many people, materials, timelines and more. Logistics may also refer to more specific processes related to supply chain management.

7. Objective

A company or team’s objective outlines a goal that a business, team or individual is trying to achieve. This statement of purpose will guide your actions as you plan for future successes.

8. Opportunity cost

The opportunity cost is a loss as a result of choosing one action over another. If you can choose only one option, calculating the opportunity cost of each can help you determine the best course of action.

9. Outsourcing

When a company gets products or services from an outside worker or supplier, it’s outsourcing. A business may outsource from another country or a different company. Anything that is not handled in-house is outsourced.

10. Overhead

Financial overhead is the indirect cost associated with running a business, often related to administration, marketing and maintenance. These costs are not associated with product manufacturing or service delivery. 

11. Profitability

A business’s profitability is its ability to yield a certain financial gain in relation to its size and costs. This is a measurement of efficiency that helps define the company’s ability to produce a return on investment.

12. Research and development

Research and development, or R&D, are activities that center around invention, innovation and improvement. In the R&D department, new technologies, messaging, processes and products are developed and tested.

12.1 Qualitative Research

Research conducted through interviews, focus groups and other forms of observation. It provides context about an audience’s feelings, beliefs and motivations regarding a brand, product or service with nuance and depth.

12.2 Quantitative Research

Research that uses surveys, polls and questionnaires to provide numerical observations on large audience samples. It provides empirical answers to branding and marketing questions, and is often used to provide factual, projectable and statistically significant information for decision-making.

13. Return on investment

Return on investment, or ROI, is the amount of profit returned on an effort in comparison with the expense. To calculate this performance measurement, you divide the benefit of the investment by the cost.

14. Revenue

A company’s revenue is its earnings over a certain period. This includes any deductions available for returned merchandise. On an income statement, revenue may also be called sales.

15. Board of directors

The board of directors is a group of individuals who set the policies that govern a company. Board members are elected by stockholders.

15.1 Shareholder

A shareholder is anyone who owns one or more shares in a company. Shareholders have a financial interest in the company, as they stand to profit if stock prices go up. However, they are not responsible for the company’s debts. Shareholders are always stakeholders, but not all stakeholders are shareholders.

15.2 Stakeholder

A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest in a company, goal or project. Examples of stakeholders include shareholders, employees, owners, customers and vendors. These individuals all stand to profit if the company succeeds or suffer if it fails.

16. Supply chain

The supply chain incorporates both the production and distribution of goods. This chain follows a product from the initial manufacturing phase through to consumption by the consumer.

17. Telecommuting

Telecommuting is working from home or another environment outside of the traditional office. Telecommuters typically use the internet and telephone to communicate, access information and turn in projects from a remote location.

18. Turnover

Turnover is the rate that employees leave and join the company. A business with high turnover doesn’t retain workers for long periods of time. Low turnover is desirable, as this means that employees stay on longer, which reduces costs and increases productivity.

19. Unique selling proposition

The unique selling proposition, or USP, is the feature that differentiates a product or service from the competition. It’s important to define your USP in the development phase to make sure your project, product or organization has something distinct to offer customers.

Business Vocabulary for your job hunt!

Business Vocabulary
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Types of job searches

  • Part time jobs
  • Full time jobs
  • Work from home jobs
  • Hiring immediately jobs
  • View more jobs

Nouns used in Business

event – individual – location – member – version – appointment – area – available – current – degree – field – main – policy – public – service – site – staff – feedback – booking – statement

Business Verbs

  • to address –
  • to apply –
  • to contact –
  • to own –
  • to provide –
  • to research –
  • to review –
  • to support –
  • to administrate –
  • to approach –
  • to associate –
  • to develop –
  • to master –
  • to point –
  • to receive –
  • to schedule –
  • to section –
  • to select –
  • to submit –
  • to appoint –
  • to state –
  • to control –
  • to create –
  • to experience –
  • to focus –
  • to level –
  • to order –
  • to present –
  • to process –
  • to relate –
  • to request –
  • to access –
  • to add –
  • Assigned
  • Delegated
  • Organized
  • Schedule
  • Controlled
  • Coordinated
  • Headed
  • Orchestrated
  • Programmed
  • Accelerated
  • Advocated
  • Championed
  • Commanded
  • Constructed
  • Crafted
  • Deployed
  • Energized
  • Forged
  • Influenced
  • Intensified
  • Navigated
  • Normalized
  • Orchestrated
  • Pilot*
  • Pioneered
  • Propelled
  • Realigned
  • Rejuvenated
  • Stimulated
  • Thwarted
  • Transformed
  • Unified
  • Catalogued
  • Compiled
  • Categorized 
  • Logged
  • Chartered
  • Addressed
  • Corresponded
  • Moderated
  • Negotiated
  • Briefed
  • Campaigned
  • Authored
  • Co-authored
  • Composed
  • Conveyed
  • Corresponded
  • Critiqued
  • Defined
  • Documented
  • Edited
  • Illustrated
  • Promoted
  • Publicized
  • Reviewed
  • Appraised
  • Budgeted 
  • Balanced
  • Audited
  • Forecast*
  • Clarified
  • Critiqued
  • Examined 
  • Inspected
  • Investigated
  • Analyzed
  • Assembled
  • Assessed
  • Audited
  • Calculated
  • Discovered
  • Evaluated
  • Examined
  • Explored
  • Estimated
  • Identified
  • Interpreted
  • Investigated
  • Mapped
  • Measured
  • Qualified
  • Quantified
  • Surveyed
  • Tested
  • Tracked

*The program will initially be piloted in four schools. In 1980, he piloted the Wildlife and Countryside Bill through the House of Commons. Our advisers are here to pilot members through the new procedure.

Check out our Business Idioms Here