“I think I’d miss you even if we never met.”
This perfectly dreamy quote from the 2005 movie The Wedding Date is the essence of romance, of Valentine’s Day, of what we want to hear from the person we like so well. This is what all the effort is for, yes? The conversations, the dinners, the dates doing things you enjoy together to ultimately hear that this — THIS — is the person who would miss you even if they didn’t know you existed.
This is better known as the honeymoon phase.
But then there’s another phase, one that solidifies this person’s position in your life, maybe forever. This phase is built on so much more than fun dates and endearing words. It’s built on actions. Trust. Understanding that this person is exactly who they say they are. Through all of the actions they take day in and day out, they prove to you that, despite their flaws, they are the real deal — committed to you and to being the person they’ve shown you time after time they are.
THIS is love, actually.
Now. Go back to the top and read all that again. But this time, instead of thinking about romance, think about a business or organization you love. (Yes, I know that’s a drastic shift, but stay with me. ?)
Finding your significant brand is a lot like finding your significant other when you think about it. Some of us have brand relationships that are more serious than anything that may be happening today on Valentine’s Day. Whether it’s Amazon (that’s me), Apple (also me), Subaru, or your ride-or-die cleaners down the street, there’s usually one business that has courted you and kept you coming back because they did what they said and said what they did.
The whole concept of love, whether it’s with a person or that box with the smiling logo that keeps arriving at your doorstep on time, really boils down to one crucial element: Communication. No matter what phase of the relationship you are in, if you aren’t communicating well, it’s likely to go down in flames.
The method in which people communicate when dating has changed drastically over the years, but the concept is still the same — find someone you like, ask them to spend time with you, and market your best qualities. Same is true for businesses and organizations. They market using every available method of external communication they have — advertising, email, website, brochure, video — to court that potential suitor.
And the essence of good marketing is? Yep, good copy. The right words. (“I think I’d miss you even if we never met.”) There are so many avenues in which to communicate, but they will only be as effective as the message they deliver and the actions that follow.
So you better be on your toes, Romeo.
Ahhh, but I’m terrible at writing, you say. Well, I say, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. It’s actually just like having a conversation with someone you’d like to know better. You can hire experts (like us!) to help you arrive at the right message that will strengthen your brand, and if you have the ability to do so, we say DO IT. But if you’re going it alone on this marketing journey, here are a few tips:
Make it about them, not about you.
This is great relationship advice too, isn’t it? Put the other person’s needs above your own. All of your potential customers have a pain point you can help solve. What is that pain point, and how do you fix it? That’s what you need to be talking about to the masses.
EXAMPLE: I need tennis racquet grip for my teenage son FAST and I don’t have time to go to the store. Luckily, Amazon has told me time and time again they can cure what ails me by delivering what I need in two days. They consistently fulfill that promise, and if they don’t, they immediately apologize and make it right. I don’t even think about going to Walmart anymore.
Make your brand voice match your brand personality.
Before you start writing witty copy to attract customers, decide if being funny is what you want them to remember. Discover your brand personality first, then go about writing copy for your advertisements, your website and your print materials that matches it. The last thing you want is to attract a customer by being super clever in a Facebook ad, then lead them to your website, which delivers a super serious, super boring message.
EXAMPLE: It’s like discovering the cute girl with a seemingly great personality on an online dating website, only to meet her in person to discover she is nothing like she advertised. You feel duped, right? And I bet you don’t go on another date.
Whoa boy, that’s the thread that holds it all together, isn’t it? We want to be with, and buy from, people who speak the truth. Even when it’s not popular or attractive. Tell customers what they will get when buying from you and deliver that experience to the best of your ability. It’s as simple as that.
EXAMPLE: I was recently chatting with best friend and essay consultant, Tara, who had just counseled a student on his personal statement for medical school. He said, “But what if I didn’t have a magical a-ha moment that made me realize I wanted to be a doctor?” Tara’s advice was spot on. “That’s OK. Just say that.” Then you tell the story about the little moments that led you to make that decision, she said. Maybe it’s not glamorous, but telling the truth makes your brand authentic. And that’s what people buy.
Cheers to Valentine’s Day and finding the right words to say to that potential customer — and to delivering on the promises you make.
If you’re looking for a word nerd to help build the right message that attracts customers, look no further. We’d love to chat with you about your brand and your goals.