Monday, March 15, 2010

Fastest Way to the A-List Secret Revealed

I'm going to give it away. Really.
Read on and be impressed. WARNING: You're not going to believe it, at first, but then, you will become a convert.

Here it is: CONVINCE (someone) THAT (something) BECAUSE (of something special).

OK, you ask, "What is that?" That, my friend, is a POWERLINETM. It's better than the old USP (Unique Selling Proposition) because it forces you to craft a laserbeam-like mission statement within a single sentence. But don't be fooled of it's simplicity. This is really hard to do.

Fill in those blanks about your business, your brand or yourself. Do this now.

(do you hear the Jeopardy song?)

Everyone tries this and fills out something that's completely bland and meaningless. That's the first draft and important, because it get's the crap (forgive me) out of the way. You've got to be tighter about your answers. More insightful about what drives your prospects (and exactly who they might be) to you and why (this is critical) they get to a transactional point with you. Answer this: "For what possible reason do your customers buy from you, and not someone down the street?" Need more to assist you? Try this Powerline winner to get you thinking more intelligently...

Here's the California Dairy Board's Powerline: CONVINCE grocery shoppers THAT they need milk in their cart BECAUSE without milk, you can't eat certain foods.

Break that down and you'll see the beauty in it all. This campaign came out in 1992 and has been a hit ever since. Think back on that era and you'll recognize that milk consumption was down due in a large part to diets that said milk wasn't good for you — yet the campaign for milk was "Milk, does a body good." You can see how this might be a problem for milk producers.

CONVINCE people who are at the very spot to make a decision on buying milk (grocery shoppers - not moms, dads or kids - just someone with a cart or a basket) THAT they need milk, (any size milk — gallons, quarts or even little pints) in their cart BECAUSE if they put Oreos, chocolate chips or peanut butter in their cart, they will have to buy milk.

Every tried to eat a snickerdoodle with orange juice?

Read that tagline (Got Milk?) The world's most effective tagline? Quite possibly, and it embodies the entire Powerline in just two words! Don't expect yours to be this perfect... and that's OK, because slicing your Powerline down to it's bare minimum (even if a run-on sentence) will force you to learn about your business and jettison those "benefits" of your product that have become meaningless to your customers. The ad industry has done a fantastic job of making powerful words completely meaningless (quality, integrity, value, etc.) — so you'll have to be judicious to get to the crux of your call to action. Having your own effective Powerline is the no.1 trick in getting to A-list trust...
   consistently delivering your reason to buy to the right prospects
   saving your firm time with creative-types charged with constructing your message
   saving your firm money by generating a quicker understanding of each message.

Now take a new attempt at that Powerline... take as many drafts as it takes to get to a statement that you can deliver with confidence. Do so, and your brand will get gobbled up like milk and cookies!

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