Copywriting great Drayton Bird recalls one of the finest talks on copywriting he's ever witnessed. Entitled “20 Opinionated Answers to 20 Questions Nobody Asked,” it's full of wit and wisdom which is just as relevant today - even if the mediums have evolved. Take away just one lesson and you're sure to benefit.
Dedicated to one of the best (and most thoughtful) copywriters I ever met.
You’ll see a load of piffle about brands nowadays.
They fascinate everyone – but hardly any understand what makes a great brand, what benefits it confers, or how to build one.
But before I tell you the answers may I justify my two word headline?
Joe Sugarman made more mail order millions than anyone else I have met.
He wrote several good books, especially the excellent “Advertising Secrets of the Written Word”.
He is very thoughtful man. For years after we had dinner in London he used to send me a birthday greetings.
He’s also quirky. I don’t think ordinary people do great things.
A friend got him to do a talk in Slovenia. Joe started by auctioning his tie.
Every one of his headlines was submitted to a cruel discipline – they were all just two words.
That is incredibly hard.
Long headlines can say more, and usually do better (most marketers don’t know that).
But my God, how well Joe chose those words!
So after that tribute to him here’s an ominous warning.
If you’re taken in by all the waffle about brands, here’s the simple truth.
The wisest expert about them was the late Prof. Andrew Ehrenberg of the London and South Bank Business Schools.
A whole business school in Australia is named after him.
He told me this when I interviewed him for an article I wrote.
A strong brand is neither more nor less than one with more customers than its competitors.
How do they get those customers? They do a good job. They offer something better.
Don’t imagine you have to be a big business
You can be a strong brand in a tiny market.
If you follow me, I gave the example of two fish and chip shops not long ago.
More customers mean more money.
That means you can invest more in getting new customers, and improving what you sell… and so it goes.
That’s almost all you need to know about marketing, branding or anything else I’m alleged to be an expert on.
You get more customers, then persuade them to spend more, more often.
When you have more customers they tend to pay higher prices.
They forgive you your mistakes.
They recommend you to others.
I could go on about this forever.
But you’ll be relieved to know I won’t.
Just remember all you have to do is get more customers.
Then when you have a strong brand for God’s sake don’t hire loads of bullshitters with fancy titles.
If you want to know how to get more customers, happily I can help you.
My colleagues and I do it every day of the year for firms all over the world.
Some are very small, but as I say you can be the biggest brand in your special market if you know how to go about it.
If you don’t, contact us – http://draytonbird.net/agenq/
He keeps me in order.
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