This is the second in a short series of posts on how to be a better copywriter from my good friend and colleague Clive Cable.
In this 2nd post, Clive focuses on Product Personality.
What it means and how to make it work for you.
The Copywriter and Product Personality
By Clive Cable
Not many know it, but every product has a personality.
When you think of a Ferrari, what thoughts comes to mind?
What about a Volvo?
Now picture a Rolls Royce.
Can you see how they all have different personalities?
So, you’ll be glad to know your product also has a personality.
Another way to think of products or services is as “concepts.”
That means you forget about what you sell and think in terms of what your reader wants to buy.
And your reader wants to buy a concept.
The concept around a Rolls Royce is luxury.
Think of it like this:
Without a concept, your sales will be about as predictable as an ape with a hockey stick.
Another “Clive” story.
Many years ago, I came across a controversial health product called, “Aerobic Oxygen.”
At that time, it was selling in over 30 countries around the world. But for some unknown reason, it hadn’t taken off in the UK.
When I sat down with the idea of writing to sell, I came up with the concept of “Liquid Health” in order to create demand.
Over the next couple of years, I sold over 500,000 bottles of Aerobic Oxygen and when people called my company to order it, they asked for “Liquid Health” and not Aerobic Oxygen.
That is Product Personality!
Another example that will surprise you.
Another controversial product I created sales copy for was detox foot patches.
At the time people thought they were fake, but now you see them in leading pharmacy stores.
The idea behind the product is you put these patches on the soles of your feet and overnight they draw out any toxins you may have in your body.
So, with my writing to sell hat on I came up with the headline, “Is your body a toxic waste dump.”
Clearly, the concept is a body like a toxic waste dump and no mention of the product.
Truth be told, you should NEVER mention your product when you are writing to sell.
Because nobody wants to buy your product.
They only want what the product or service can do for them.
I recently read a brilliant book by Steven Pressfield called, “No one wants to read your Sh*T.“
And he’s right, it’s the same with your product or service.
No one wakes up first thing in the morning and says to themselves, where can I find an insurance salesperson?
As you already know people buy solutions to their problems or resources that help them achieve their goals.
And your product or service is secondary to that.
When writing to sell the first thing you must think of is creating concepts because it is something that makes your product or service more desirable.
And that’s where we’re headed next…
When Joe Sugarman sold his blue blockers sunglasses, he sold the concept of a ‘vision breakthrough.’
Product Personality at work again!
Inside every word is a story.
When you look again at those two words ‘vision breakthrough’ you see a story within them. And that sparks your curiosity.
That’s the same as the two words ‘liquid health.’
The words convey a story.
As do each of these words.
Soviet spy. Farmer. Incompetent Lawyer. Rapist. Wealthy entrepreneur. Overweight chef. Stressed housekeeper.
Or how about these words.
Lean and mean.
I imagine as you read those words you felt certain emotions, right?
The next time you’re writing to sell remember this.
It’s emotions that make your readers buy.
Stated a little differently, without emotion in your sales copy it will be about as welcoming as an incontinent frog in a punch bowl.
Oddly enough there’s a story I read of a man who had the emotional center of his brain removed and he could no longer make decisions.
When you talk about your product or service, you’re using logic.
And logic doesn’t persuade, all it does is gives someone an ‘intellectual alibi’ for the emotional choice they made when they bought something expensive that they truly desired.
Stated more simply, logic gives your buyer justification for what they just bought from you.
It’s easy to say to someone who is writing sales copy that they need to create a concept that describes what your product or service does.
But it’s not so easy to say choose your words with care and precision.
Why are the right words are hard to find?
I will cover that in the next post in this series of copywriting tips.
Author: Clive Cable
Clive Cable has been writing winning sales copy for over 30 years and is the author of “Influence Intelligence – why people resist you and what to do about it.”