Corporate Eye

PC Manufacturers Finally Ditch the Gobbledygook

computer storeConsumers everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief, because purchasing a computer just got easier.  After years of focusing marketing messages on the technology that powers desktop computers — messages that average computer users couldn’t easily relate to their own lives — computer manufacturers are taking a page from Apple’s marketing plan and ditching the gobbledygook jargon that did nothing to connect with consumers.

It’s about time.

According to the New York Times, the change of heart comes from the realization that consumers have needs and wants, and speaking down to them in overly-technical language doesn’t make them feel comfortable nor does it show them how the pricey computer they’re considering buying can help them and meet their needs.  Time for a new brand messaging strategy.

Finally.

It remains to be seen if computer manufacturers can truly abandon their rhetoric-spieling ways, but at least there is hope.  Rather than walking into your local Best Buy and being overwhelmed by lengthy lists about processor speeds and the like, consumers might just see lists that explain the stuff they can actually do with the computers on display.

It comes down to one of the first lessons college marketing students learn — marketing messages should communicate benefits not features.

One of the things I always tell my copywriting clients (and I mention it in my book, Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps, too) is that no one cares about you.  They care about what your product or services can do for them, how it can help make their lives better, and how it can make their lives easier.  The last thing they want to hear is how great you think you are because of all the behind-the-scenes stuff that you think makes you wonderful.  They really don’t care.  But tell them how all those things can help them, and you boost your chances of building a relationship and closing sales exponentially.

Don’t just tell them — show them.

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
Comments

Hi Susan,
Great post. I’ve related it to the lifescience industry which is generally poorly lacking in this fundamental principal. So many start-ups get a quick website up and running and write the copy themselves, copying and pasting from scientific journals. The result is a boring, static description of technology and the applications are added at the end. There seems to be little appreciation for good copywriting.
http://bioengagement.wordpress.com/2009/10/11/yes-but-how-will-it-help-me-ditch-the-features-and-give-me-the-benefits/

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