This question is always on my mind when writing promotional copy for a product or brand.
Customer Focused Copywriting
I feel that it is crucial to think from the point of view of a customer when writing promotional copy. This can be difficult, especially if you have been involved in the development of a new product or service. In my experience product development teams and designers tend to focus on parts of the project that cost the most (in time or money). It is very difficult to prioritise communications based on what really matters to the customer.
I recall a difficult conversation when working on a technical product launch. I argued that a Safety Stop button wasn’t the top feature of a new product. You would think I had discredited the entire development team as they took this very personally. However I managed to convince the team that there were key features of the product that had to come ahead of the Safety Stop button.
Sometimes it helps to gain a little perspective from someone outside the regular internal team.
It is great to gain some real customer insights through Customer Research as it is fascinating what real people think about products and how they make decisions.
Where budgets do not stretch to customer research, Sales people and Customer Services staff often have great insights as they have real conversations with real people.
Customers usually need a little motivation to choose your product over another one, so it is important to put yourself in their shoes.
Passion for the Sale
I have worked on global brands that are very successful and market leaders. I find that there can be an element of complacency where people rest on the fact that customers will choose your brand and products on this basis. Personally I dislike this kind of arrogance and laziness.
Whatever the size of the business, I try to understand customers and discover what they want. When writing about the benefits of a product, the start point should be to answer the question ‘What’s in it for me?’