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.
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.
When 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: