Sweet words

Successful copywriting uses the customer’s language. Find out what, how, when, and why the customer thinks – and the words they use.

One accent of customer language is certainty. We dislike not knowing. Not knowing feels risky. It’s why this bag of sugar is so sweet: 30 calories per serving. Diets are trends. Eat this or that? Now or later? Are health bars actually healthy? Is sugar bad for me? It’s too much! But this simple bag of sugar puts it in the customer language: calories, and not that many. 

Road construction is another example, only inverted. Fines doubled when workers present. I don’t know how much, but I certainly don’t want it to be doubled! In this case, the natural dislike of the unknown is magnified and aids in the messaging to slow down. 

This hook helped Jaws (1975) set the mold for summer blockbusters. It was a difficult movie to make, in part due to “that sonofabitchin’ bastard rig” (the shark) which kept breaking down. The footage was such a mess that during editing Steven Spielberg used barren shots of the water along with John Williams’ score. That was great because rather than seeing the shark, audiences imagined the shark, a worse fate. 

Organizations can remove or introduce anxiety in their customer communications. How much depends. On what? On what the customer thinks. 

We talked about Jaws’ role in the evolution of the movie business model in this post, Batman BATNA. Contact too:

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