freelance copywriter, copywriting tips, white papers, rainmaking tips

Have you ever watched a truly entertaining commercial, laughed hysterically all the way through it … but afterwards had absolutely no idea who the company was or what product the commercial was about?

That is an example of a freelance copywriter not doing his job.

On the other hand, we’ve also seen those obnoxious, loud commercials in which the announcer shouted from start to finish, repeating the product’s brand name over and over (think car dealerships or cheesy lawyers).

Now can you guess which type of ads are more successful in selling their product? Here’s a hint: if they can’t remember your name, people can’t very well do business with you.

If a freelance copywriter does nothing else, he or she must at least communicate the name of the product and further its brand identity.

What is a product’s brand identity? Definitions vary, but I describe a brand as:

  1. what people have come to expect when they hear the name of your product, and
  2. how that expectation differs from what they expect of your competitors.

For example, when people hear the name Apple Computers, they expect “user friendly.” When they think of PCs, they think, “compatible to all kinds of software.”

Let’s take this one step further. When people think of Dell Computers, they think of “custom made to your specifications.” When they think of all other brands, they think in terms of certain models you get out of a box.

These companies have taken a key benefit of their product and consistently communicated a brand based upon that key benefit. Eventually, that key benefit becomes synonymous with the name of the product in the minds of the public.

Here are some other products that built a brand upon a key benefit:

Melts in your mouth, not in your hands…….M&Ms
Have it your way……………………Burger King
The most trusted name in news…………………..CNN
Guaranteed pizza delivery in 30 minutes or less.....Dominos

A brand is not always the message the company communicates to people, it is what the people have come to expect. Notice also that some of these brands linger on in our minds many years after the companies discontinued using these slogans.

A brand is how a product’s target audience perceives the product, which can occur accidentally unless careful, consistent experiences are not controlled by the messenger. This includes advertisements, but it also includes customers’ in-person contacts with the company, its employees and the product.

Of course freelance copywriters seldom have the authority to direct a brand, but we can certainly do it harm if we fail to write copy consistent with what people have come to expect with this product. More importantly, if we fail to even communicate the name of the product, we have cast it adrift in a sea of unrecognizable commercial messages.

freelance copywriter, copywriting tips, white papers, rainmaking tips


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