Monday, 3 January 2011

'Let me get right to the point ...'

Keep it simple, keep it relevant ...

How many times have we clicked on a website or opened a brochure to read something like?:

‘Bloggs and Co are an established family business. Founded in 1872 by Arnold and Ernest Bloggs, hardware suppliers to the gentry, we have been trading on the high street for almost five generations bringing our unique emphasis on quality and customer service to bear through two world wars, times of recession and hardship and the advent of modern technology.

For all that time, Bloggs and Co have ...’


Bloggs and Co are a brilliant company. They offer a superb range of products and their customer service is second to none.

But you wouldn’t know that from their website. Nor their sales brochures.

You’d pick up something of their heritage and credentials, certainly. But you’ll have had to wade through a history book to find it.

Some simple tweaks would help Bloggs and Co position themselves in the readers’ minds as the outstanding company they undoubtedly are.

It’s the simple FABs thing ... Features, Advantages and Benefits.

Sales and marketing people have that drummed into them. But it’s amazing how quickly they forget.

What are Bloggs and Co trying to tell us?

Surely that they are established and reliable, that they know their business inside out and that we can rest assured that they will do a good job?

Then why not tell us that?

Listen, we’ve been around a long time. We’re not likely to disappear overnight. We know our stuff. Here’s how we can prove it, we’ve got customer testimonials you can read. We’ve got recommendations.

And to prove that we aren’t stuffy and old-fashioned despite our age, we stock the latest products and are completely comfortable with modern technology. Here are brand names you’ll recognise and shots of some pretty spectacular kit ...

Obviously Bloggs and Co wouldn’t use those exact words, but that’s what their website should tell us.
And drafting up a game-plan for their copy, a ‘copy-platform’ if you like, is the first step towards achieving that.

Bloggs and Co have a story to tell. People like stories. And they could tell it in an engaging and convincing way.

And they needn’t shy away from engaging the reader directly. ‘You want drill bits? We’ve got drill bits. Here, look at the range ...’

Their heritage and credentials can be established by the tone. Warm, reassuring copy, carefully selected imagery that conveys a sense of tradition combined with the latest technology.

That they are still a family firm and were established in 1872 is certainly important. It is who they are, what enables them to offer such an excellent service. But it is only of value in their communications to the extent that it supports their offer.

What are they offering? A wide range of quality hardware goods at a price that suits the market they operate in.

They know their customers. They know that we are men of distinction, real big spenders ...

I'm not so sure about the good looking, so refined bit. Nor that we're all necessarily blokes.

But they should get right to the point.

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