Euphemizing In Lieu of Speaking Objective Truth Still Preferred Among Space Industry Executives

SAO PAULO — Highly dreaded among executives, the word ‘failure’ is a term no executive looks forward to verbalize in their professional life. Instead, space companies marketing teams work overtime finding edulcorated, more palatable synonyms and idiomatic subterfuges when facing board meetings or the press after uncomfortable situations.
Samuel Tompkins, Head of Branding at Ideateo Labs, a marketing and branding consulting firm which works with several S&P 500 companies around the world, comments that “Ideateo gets lots of requests from top-notch executives from space industry wanting to be trained in the art of euphemizing while trying to explain what went wrong. From our extensive experience, we explain to them that speaking objective truth is a sign of weakness and strong, powerful, overly positive executives is what keeps the stocks going up”. Mr Tompkins adds a few examples: “Instead of saying ‘we failed to find a product anyone would want to buy’ we teach executives to say ‘we pivoted our product portfolio and we are recalibrating our offerings’. Or, when rockets fail, space executives can better say ‘we collected a tremendous amount of data and we are spectacularly proud of the team as I have ordered an immediate investigation to find out the rocket’s whereabouts”. Without giving the racket fully away, Tompkins is willing to share a bit of their ‘secret sauce’: “add as many adjectives as you can until the sentence gets so long no one will remember what the issue was in the first place”.