April 6, 2014Sell the product, not the lifestyle.

Writers. We do love our silence.

After all, we’re only one step removed from the library, the garret, the dusty bookshelf.

Of course in reality copywriters never get the peace and quiet we need to scribble or to think.

In offices we’re bothered by loud, boisterous music — or loud, boisterous people. I once had to share a desk with a man whose job it was to read the same sales script over and over, every day.

When we’re lucky enough to be working from home, we may have kids under our feet or noisy neighbours over our heads.

And of course in London, we’re never far away from a roaring train or screeching siren.

Sometimes you need to focus and get work done. A couple of months ago a friend took pity on me and let me borrow his Bose QC15 noise cancelling headphones.

And suddenly, silence.

The people on the phone, gone. The building site outside, gone. The gangsta rap blaring from tinny agency speakers, gone. I was in heaven.

But that’s not what I want to talk about.

If you want to find out how good the Bose QC15s are, try a pair for yourself. You won’t regret it.

What I want to talk about is the way Bose market themselves.

Inside every carry case of Bose headphones comes a pocket containing a small pack of business cards. Here they are:



Now, some people might say this is intolerably smug. I think it’s the perfect way to market this product.

The execution is exactly right. Here is a product so good, so quiet, you’ll want to hand over a business card rather than give the interested party a sales pitch. You’re both people who appreciate your peace and quiet. And this is ever so quietly confident.

It fits the Bose brand perfectly.

Bose’s quietly confident business cards are a simple reminder:

When you have a great product, the simplest advertising works.

A few years ago at a job interview I was asked to name my favourite ad campaign from the last twenty years.

I could have gone for the Cadbury’s Gorilla or the Sony paintballs, or any of the other famous ads you see in all the books.

Instead, I said the best bit of marketing I had ever seen was the little Apple logo stickers that came with every purchase of an Apple product.

That’s right. Stickers.

Now Apple are so ubiquitous, you don’t see those stickers as much these days. But you used to see them everywhere. On cars. On dorm room doors. My ex-girlfriend even stuck one over the Dell logo on her clapped out notebook PC.

Every day in my job I’m asked to come up with new ways to create brand loyalty — more than that, I’m asked to make people fall in love.

If you get people to love your product, they’ll recommend it to a friend, their sales increase.

After all, digital and social is really just word of mouth, amplified.

Sell! Sell! recently wrote a blog post about how it’s become unfashionable in advertising to put the product in the shot. Advertising has become about brand experience, about selling a lifestyle.

But it’s not. Advertising is what it always has been. It’s about looking at the value of a product to the consumer and then clearly explaining its benefits and features in an amusing, memorable way.

But what a lot of people seem to forget is that advertising isn’t a magic bullet. To get people to love your product, start with a good product.

Then something as simple as a sticker or a business card could be the only campaign you’ll ever need.

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This entry was posted on Sunday, April 6th, 2014 at 5:33 pm and is filed under Advertising, Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One comment

  1. Just wanted to say I always look out for your new blog posts. I started out as a legal copywriter in January and your posts have helped me tremendously in the start-up phase of my business.

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