Strong adjectives and their use in marketing

Have you ever read a headline that conjured an impulse so strong you clicked without thinking? If so, you’ve likely come across a strong adjective in action, also known as a power word.

Strong adjectives are sprinkled across our social platforms, billboards, newspapers, and everywhere we look.

  • Today, we’ll go into greater detail on how brands use these terms for different attention-grabbing needs.
  • We’ll also cover what you need to know about using strong adjectives in different languages and why direct translations are often unwise.

Let’s get started with the basics.

What are strong adjectives?

Strong adjectives are descriptive words that create an emotional or sensory response. They help the reader paint a better image of the subject or set context for the item described. What sets a strong adjective apart from a weak one is its impact on the reader and whether it needs to be paired with ‘very’.

Strong adjective and power word examples

Example 1: Coffee

Ordinary: Coffee beans that smell very good

Power Words: Premium coffee beans that smell like luxury

While smelling good is a positive, it falls flat against other brands. Premium and luxury make users feel like they’re buying something of greater value.

Example 2: Lunch Event

Ordinary: Come to our lunch event for kids

Power Words: VIP Access. Enjoy our enchanting children’s lunch

Words like VIP create a sense of exclusivity, while enjoy and enchanting tell the user how they will feel at the event.

These examples may seem obvious, but that’s because strong adjectives are the bread and butter of marketing speak. They’re so popular that strong adjectives are known as ‘Power Words’ in the marketing world.

How and why are strong adjectives (power words) used in marketing?

Power words include strong or extreme adjectives and emotionally loaded nouns and verbs. You’ll see them in headlines, tag lines, descriptions, and social media posts to capture your attention in noisy environments like the internet or supermarket shelves. 

Power words: 

  • Highlight unique selling points
  • Emphasise benefits
  • And infuse a message with charisma and urgency. 

Power words also ensure that products and services are not only noticed, but remembered and desired by potential customers.

Tip: Avoid overusing power words, as superfluous descriptions can seem disingenuous or cheesy.

English marketing power word examples

Explore our list of strong adjectives and other power words for specific uses:

  • Power Words That Trigger Emotions
  • Power Words That Imply Exclusivity
  • Power Words That Create Buyer Urgency
  • Power Words for Contests or Giveaways

Power words that trigger emotions

Strategically integrate these words to trigger specific emotional responses in your audience and enhance the memorability of your message.

ExhilaratingThis word evokes feelings of excitement and joy, making it ideal for products or experiences that offer a thrilling sensation.
SensationalBy creating a sense of awe and wonder, this word makes your audience feel that what you’re offering is extraordinary and worth their attention.
IrresistibleThis word taps into the idea of something being so desirable that it’s impossible to resist, stirring up feelings of temptation and longing.
EuphoricThis term conveys a sense of extreme happiness and pleasure, making it effective for products or experiences that promise moments of pure bliss.
EnchantingImplying magical and captivating qualities, this word is ideal for products or services that transport consumers to a beautiful or enchanting place.
EmpoweringThis word instils a sense of strength and self-confidence, making it effective for products or services that empower individuals to achieve their goals.
IntriguingThis word piques curiosity and interest, inviting consumers to explore and discover something exciting or mysterious.
TimelessThis term suggests enduring quality and value, appealing to consumers’ desire for products that stand the test of time.
GenuineThis word fosters trust and authenticity, assuring consumers that your offer is real and honest.
RevolutionaryThis word implies innovation and groundbreaking change, making it suitable for products or services that are changing the game in their industry.
words that trigger emotions

Power words that imply exclusivity

These power words convey a sense of exclusivity and prestige, encouraging consumers to see your product or service as something special and worth owning for their sense of self.

ExclusiveThis word conveys exclusivity and suggests that something is available to a select few.
VIPThis abbreviation for “Very Important Person” or “Very Important Customer” implies a special status and treatment.
LimitedBy indicating a scarcity of availability, this word suggests that only a fortunate few will have access.
EliteThis word conveys a sense of superiority and exclusiveness, often associated with the best of the best.
Invitation-onlyThe term implies that access is granted solely through a personal invitation, making it highly exclusive.
Members-onlySimilar to invitation-only, this phrase restricts access to a specific group of people who are members of an exclusive club or community.
PremiumThis word suggests a higher quality or status, often associated with luxury and exclusivity.
BoutiqueOften used in fashion and hospitality, this term implies a specialised and exclusive experience.
RareThis word indicates scarcity and uniqueness, appealing to collectors and connoisseurs.
Limited editionSignifying that only a limited number of items are available, this word creates a sense of urgency and desirability among consumers.

Power words that create buyer urgency

These power words encourage consumers to make quick purchasing decisions, boosting sales and conversions in marketing campaigns.

NowThis simple word emphasises immediate action, urging buyers to act without delay.
Limited-timeThis word suggests an offer or opportunity is available for a restricted period and prompts quick decisions.
HurryThis word prompts buyers to make a quick purchase to avoid a negative outcome, but it can make some users feel stressed.
Last chanceThis phrase implies that this is the final opportunity to take advantage of an offer, creating a fear of missing out (FOMO).
Act fastThis phrase empowers buyers to take action promptly.
Don’t miss outSimilar to some of our previous phrases, this phrase suggests that something valuable is available, but time is running out.
Limited quantityThis phrase again indicates that only a few items are available to create a sense of scarcity and urgency.
Ending soonThis phrase will signal that a sale or opportunity is closing, and buyers must act immediately.
Final hoursBy emphasising that time is running out, this phrase gives readers a last chance to act before an offer expires.
words that create urgency

Power words for contests or giveaways

These power words help contest and giveaway promotions to attract participants by intensifying their emotions around winning or enhancing the desirability of the prize.

WinThis word is a clear and direct way to convey the opportunity for participants to achieve victory.
FreeEveryone loves something for free, making this word an instant attention-grabber.
PrizeThis word creates a positive emotional response as the reader has something to gain.
ExclusiveThis adjective suggests that the contest or giveaway is limited to a select group, making it feel special.
ChanceThis word creates a sense of excitement as participants have a real opportunity to achieve something desirable.
GrandThis adjective implies that the prize or contest is impressive and noteworthy.
GoldenAssociated with luxury and value, this word adds desirability to the contest or prize.
LuckyThis word encourages a sense of optimism and the possibility of a favourable outcome.

Power words from around the world

Different cultures assign different levels of ‘power’ to adjectives we use in English. Because of language norms, adjectives that appear powerful to one language speaker can be seen as weak or rude to another. 

Therefore, you should always ask a native translator to use the most appropriate adjective available, not a direct translation.

Here are a few examples (and their translations) of power words that are popular in languages around the world:

German marketing power words

Power words to use when translating your marketing campaign into German.

  1. Ultimativ: Meaning ultimate in English, this word describes a product or a solution to be the complete solution or answer to whatever issue the customer might have. It is a very emotive approach, as it positions the product as best-in-class. For example, “Der ultimative Guide” (Translation: The ultimate guide).
  1. Exklusiv: This word means exclusive. It’s a classic amongst the power words that we mentioned earlier and doesn’t require much more explanation! For example, “Exklusive Designer Leuchten und Lampen” (Translation: Exclusive designer lights and lamps).
  1. Jetzt neu!: Literally meaning ‘now new!’, this is a key phrase used to create a sense of urgency and sensation. It’s akin to the English “just in” and used by brands in product launches. Due to its short structure it’s often used in graphic starbursts. For example, “Jetzt neu!: Marketing mit verbesserter Formel” (Translation: Just in!: Better formulated marketing).
  1. Original: This word is used across multiple languages but in different contexts. In German, it’s used to highlight that something is unique and – as it’s the original – the best version. For example, “Pepsi – Das Original” (Translation: Pepsi the original).
  1. Nahtlos: This word means seamless. German marketers use it to describe how seamlessly services integrate or how seamlessly a product helps with an issue. For example, “Die nahtlose Lösung für Ihren Erfolg” (Translation: The seamless solution for your success).

French marketing power words

Power words to use when translating your marketing campaign into French.

  1. Inédit: This word translates to unpublished or unprecedented in English. It’s used to describe something that is new, original, or exclusive, and implies that the product has never been seen or experienced before. For example, “Vivez une expérience inédite en plein cœur de la nature” (Translation: A unique experience in the heart of nature).
  1. Flash: This term is used to refer to a limited-time, highly visible promotion or sale. It implies urgency and exclusivity, encouraging the reader to act quickly to take advantage of the offer. For example, “Cliquez ici pour découvrir nos ventes flash” (Translation: Click here for our flash sales).
  1. Envoûtant: Meaning enchanting or spellbinding, this word suggests that something is so charming and delightful that it has a magical quality. For example, “Prêt à vous immerger dans le monde envoûtant des parfums d’ambiance ?” (Translation: Are you ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting world of home fragrances?)
  1. Nouveau: This word means new in English and emphasises the freshness and novelty of a product or idea, appealing to consumers who are looking for the latest trends. For example, “Les tout nouveaux modèles 2023 sont arrivés” (Translation: The brand new 2023 models have arrived).
  1. Économique: This can be translated into English as economical or budget-friendly. It targets price-conscious consumers by highlighting affordability and value for money. For example, “Une solution économique pour tous vos projets de rénovation” (Translation: A budget-friendly solution for all your renovation projects).
words around the world

Spanish marketing power words

Power words to use when translating your marketing campaign into Spanish.

  1. De lujo: This phrase is used to describe something as luxurious, suggesting that the product or service has a higher quality and status. For example, “La experiencia de lujo que estabas buscando” (Translation: The luxury experience you’ve been looking for).
  1. Más deseado: Meaning the ‘most sought after’. This phrase suggests that the item is popular and creates a feeling of desire in the reader. For example, “Han llegado unas de las tazas más deseadas de Affari of Sweden” (Translation: Some of the most sought after mugs from Affari of Sweden have arrived).
  1. Por ser de [+ brand name]: This phrase implies that, as a customer of the brand, you are part of the family. It means ‘for being one of us’ in English, suggesting that you have special treatment, benefits and gifts for being a customer. For example, “Por ser de Vodafone, llévate estos dispositivos totalmente gratis” (Translation: Get these devices completely free for being part of Vodafone).
  1. Gratis: This word means free and highlights the extra benefits you can receive when purchasing an item. For example, “Envíos gratis en todos tus pedidos” (Translation: Free shipping on all orders).
  1. ¡Última oportunidad!: Meaning ‘last chance’, this phrase creates a sense of urgency in the customer to act quickly and avoid missing an opportunity. For example, “¡Última oportunidad! Consigue un 10 % de descuento” (Translation: Last chance! Get a 10% discount).

Italian marketing power words

Power words to use when translating your marketing campaign into Italian.

  1. Fantastico: Meaning amazing or fantastic in English, this word replaces “good” while conveying excitement and sparking curiosity in the customer.  You can also use synonyms, such as “strepitoso”, “sbalorditivo”, “strabiliante” to grab attention. For example, “Assaggia il fantastico gelato di “Ciao Gelati”: ingredienti genuini e gustosi” (Translation: Taste the amazing “Ciao Gelati” ice cream: tasty and authentic ingredients).
  1. Completo: This word is used in the same sense as ultimate in English. It suggests that your product or service will empower users and is the only option to rely upon. For example, “Guida avanzata completa di Microsoft Excel” (Translation: The ultimate advanced Microsoft Excel guide).
  1. Il migliore: This word indicates that a product or service is one of ‘the best’. This powerful word puts the focus on quality and reassures the customers that their investment is worthwhile. For example, “Il migliore paio di jeans per comodità e resistenza” (Translation: The best pair of jeans for comfort and durability). 
  1. Segreto: Meaning secret, this term is used as either a noun or adjective. It works especially well for informational blog articles as the juicy insider information creates a bond with the reader. For example, “Le 3 regole segrete per iniziare bene la tua Dieta Vegana” (Translation: Follow these 3 secret rules for a good start to your vegan diet).
  1. Subito: This term is largely used to promote offers or sales since it means ‘right away’ or ‘right now’ in English. It prompts buyers to follow an impulse, make a quick purchase or modify a behaviour. For example, “Ecco perché devi smettere subito di fumare” (Translation: Here’s why you should quit smoking right now).

How to incorporate power words into your international marketing strategy or tone of voice

Have our stupendous power words enticed you to transform your tone of voice? Here’s a quick way to get started:

  1. Begin by revisiting old campaigns and agreeing with colleagues on which power words you could have included in the past. 
  2. With a collection of pre-approved power words, start experimenting and adding them to newsletters, social media posts and other channels.

If you’re selling internationally and want your campaigns to be as impactful everywhere, speak to our translation consultants. Our native translators can find the perfect adjectives and verbs to grab the attention of customers anywhere in the world.Get in touch with our translation consultants to learn more about our marketing translation service. Visit our contact page by clicking here.

Kitty LEaF blog 2021

About the Author


Kitty Trewhitt is a translation project manager at LEaF Translations. She oversees each phase of the translation project and keeps in contact with both the client and linguists throughout the process. Besides managing our projects, Kitty also translates and proofreads texts from French and Italian into English, as well as creating LEaF’s monthly newsletter and managing the company social media accounts.