Writing to Sell an Idea (and a Product Too)
When you think about selling a product, you might first think about knocking on doors and trying to spread the word by showing the actual product to a customer. In today’s world of online retailers, this isn’t the normal sales situation, nor can it be with the global market. (That would be a lot of doors to knock on.) Instead, retailers are faced with the need to get their message across via websites and website copy.
The problem with website marketing is that since you can’t actually put the product in the consumer’s hand, you have to talk about the product. But with the influx of competition, everyone who sells widget X will list the same features and benefits.
Standing Out in a Crowd
You need to set your copy apart from the rest. One way to accomplish this is to sell an idea, rather than the product.
Let’s look at Apple, for example. While it’s clear their products are manufactured well and with the consumer in mind, the idea of user-friendly cutting edge technology is what brings customers back. Through their ads and their website copy, they connect with the customer who wants to have a computer that’s easy to use and one that offers the best technology.
Though it’s true Apple wouldn’t be as successful if they couldn’t back up their promises, it’s also clear that the way they evangelize their product (via their writers, marketing department, and the ever-loud Mac fans) has created momentum, despite the higher price tags on their products relative to the competition.
The idea begins the conversation and the conversation leads to a virtual sales experience that is often more successful than the best door-to-door salesperson ever was.