Use Visual Punch to Boost Your Marketing Results

Mulberry on Twig

CC Image, Mulberry, courtesy of Rosh Sillars on Flickr

At the moment, I’m thinking of a berry. A very juicy, very elusive berry. A berry I’ll probably never get a chance to taste again because a fruit grower knew a lot about fruit, but precious little about marketing. Don’t let that be you.

Just before the holidays, I went to a bazaar in one of Istanbul’s swankier districts. This bazaar was intended to help homegrown businesses market their products. Just past the artisanal cheese stand with its tantalizing aromas and picturesque descriptions, a fruit grower hawked his wares—mulberry juice. His product, however, was clothed in ugly plastic soda bottles—nary a label and sporting caution-sign yellow caps.

Mulberry Juice in Plastic Bottle With Yellow Cap

I nearly turned away. At the corner of his display, however, was a close-up photo of a mulberry—black-purple, nestled between green leaves, bursting with juice.

That photo saved the day for the fruit juice guy. Just a glance of that berry—and I wanted a sip.

Fortunately, the grower had some samples there. The product was as good as his word, promised in that one image. Naturally-sweet, full of summer flavor, and available in abundance. Who wouldn’t want gallons of the stuff? I bought three bottles, which maxed out my grocery budget for the week.

I walked away from that display shaking my head. That fruit grower had a great product. With those plain plastic bottles, though, his product just wasn’t flying off those shelves.

Marketing, it would seem, is a lot like fishing. Without an attractive lure, no one takes the bait. And without a hook, the fish swims away. This guy had no hook.

Yet that poor fruit grower would probably have done better had he placed his brand on display in the center of his booth. Instead, shelves of the plastic bottles lined the display front and center, yellow caps and all. Not even a label indicating what was inside. Why didn’t he put that picture of his luscious fruit on the outside of those bottles? Even with their caution-light yellow tops, they would have been better-looking.

Mulberry Juice in Wine GlassWhen I returned home, I knew the product was a winner. Paired with a great cheese omelet, the mulberry juice was pure heaven. I craved more. I combed through the trash, in the hope that he had left a business card, or had stamped his website on the plastic bag that now lined my trash can. No dice. Nada.

What would have happened had he spent just a bit more time branding his product? Glass bottles with an attractive label featuring the juicy berries would have been a start. If those labels had his website printed on them, I could have ordered some more of the stuff.

No chance. No labels. He didn’t even have printed brochures with his contact information on them. Not even a business card inserted in the bag. And the bag in which he handed me my three bottles was from a huge grocery store chain that didn’t even sell his juice.

Not even a website. After I tasted that sample, I would have jotted that down. No website, no copywriting that could draw readers into a mulberry juice-filled daydream.

For only a few pennies per bottle, the guy could have promoted his product with just a simple label with a picture of that juicy berry and his contact info. Even if he kept the plastic bottle, that would have been a huge improvement.

After he made some sales, he could have easily upgraded his with a glass bottle for less than $2.00. Then he probably could have marketed his product—organic, by the way—to the upscale foodie section of that grocery store chain. Market District would have imported a boatload, I am sure.

Needless to say, I wish him luck. I like that juice. Because his advertising was so poor, I have no way to find him nor his business. Because he did not create a searchable, distinctive image of his product, it is lost to me for all time.

Don’t lose potential customers because you haven’t taken the time or the effort to brand your product. Forget what your mom told you. Appearance does matter. Words, too, matter. Rise to the challenge and create an image that beckons customers to buy—and tells them where they can find more.

If you know a lot about what you do for a living, but precious little about marketing, don’t be like that fruit seller. Spend your time doing what you love best, and hire a copywriter—like me–to tell others about what you can do for them.

To contact me about helping you create a lasting image of your product or services through the written word, write to me using the contact form below:

Orhan Pamuk, “The Museum of Innocence” – Book Review

Turkish Tea Saucer in Red, Gold, and White

A writer whose work surfaced after a search on for, of all things, saucers for my Turkish tea glasses, Orhan Pamuk captured my heart with his words.

In his unforgettable novel, The Museum of Innocence, Pamuk writes with a distinctive voice–a Turkish voice–at once familiar as that of my friends, and yet foreign as the ancient land itself, which I have only visited via brochures and shells and pictures brought back by my friends who make a yearly pilgrimage to their birthplace.

Pamuk’s is a man’s voice, though, who writes of women as a connoisseur savors a Monet. You don’t know whether to slap him or wish it were you in his arms as he treasures your every curve. You forget that he is just an author. He becomes his character, a young businessman, Kemal, with his deft use of first-person narrative and a banquet of words.

But then again, his is a Turkish man’s voice. His culture’s unconditional hospitality and respect for women pair with his testosterone-fueled imagination to produce a savory conundrum. As he muses about the pleasure of taking women, his thoughts turn again, now tender, to the women in his life: his mother, his lover, and his fiancée. He is torn from the get-go.

As the novel opens, the reader finds Kemal (whose name, for those not familiar with Turkish history, is symbolic of the modernity introduced by Kemal Mustafa Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey)  reflecting on the afterglow of a night of lovemaking with his distant cousin, the proletarian Füsün. A shopgirl whose sensuous lines overshadowed her poverty of mind, Füsun had given in to Kemal’s invitation to allow him to tutor her for her entrance examination for university admission, a test she had already failed once already. The promise of more such nights to come had drawn Kemal into reverie.

Kemal, however, is engaged to Sibel, an icy beauty whose patrician family’s old money had just about run out. University-educated, proud and modern, Sibel relished being one of the bold new guard of Turkish women, who gave her virginity, treasured by generations past, to her equally modern soon-to-become fiancé, seeing no obstacles to their eventual marriage, secure in Kemal’s devotion.

A few weeks prior to the opening scene, though, Sibel–ever the Material Girl–proved to be the instrument of her own undoing. Her desire for a designer purse she saw in a shop window had driven Kemal to purchase the bag the next day. The shop, of course, was the one in which Füsun worked. By the time Füsün had removed the handbag from the window, her innocent blush, coupled with her sensuous curves, had already entranced Kemal. In his mind, she was already in his arms. He tried to shudder off the thought, turning his mind back to Sibel, who certainly, he thought, would be overcome with delight. After all, he had spent a lavish sum of time and money just to please her..

His hope for redemption through this gift was soon dashed. With discerning eye, Sibel discovered that the bag was a knockoff–a clever imitation of the French designer’s work. Adding to Kemal’s misery, Sibel demanded that Kemal take it back for a full refund.

As Fate would have it, Füsün was alone when Kemal dropped by the store to return the bag, and thus, through a series of events, the smitten Kemal led the innocent Füsün’s virginity to the slaughter.

What does a man do when his carnal desires blend with his hospitality to welcome one too many women into his life? Either he goes all Bill Clinton and become a caricature of the Powerful Perv, or he obsesses about Perpetual Virginity.

Kemal does the latter, creating a museum in which he stores every object he can that Füsün ever touched in his family’s unused vacation flat, the one in which Füsun and he first made love. That moment just before he entered her becomes frozen in time for Kemal, whose obsession unravels his bourgeois façade.


*This review contains two affiliate links.



Introducing Myself to the Blogosphere

German Shepherd Dog Looking out over Lake HuronWelcome to my new blog!

Writing is a joy, so much so that I have spent the larger portion of this day attempting to navigate my way through the WordPress setup–just so I could get to this point.

My name is Cheryl Anne Groth. I make my living writing for others. Writing my own blog, on the other hand, is quite an undertaking for this shy soul. Not one to bare my inner self for everyone to see, I am stepping out into the Internet waters, stripped of everything but my own words.

My words will deal with topics such as ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder. Not easy to write about, nor easy to live through, but they exist–in me–and in so many others.

Not all of my topics will be so brutal. Some, actually, like posts on dog training, equestrian sport, figure skating, and cooking, may serve to be a light-hearted moment in my readers’ day.

Topics such as philosophy, music, and religion have the potential to lift one’s soul to think beyond one’s self, to explore, to dream, to dare.

I dare.