Selling everything doesn’t make you memorable. Effective message design is about discovering and promoting the primary things that you do better than others. Make those things available to your audience and promote the heck out of that message.
Message design requires you to remember who you came with.
Amazon.com’s original tagline was “Earth’s biggest bookstore.” That message was designed to let you know what you could get. Even though this brand
aims to be a place where consumers can find anything they want to buy — online,”
as Interbrand puts it, my first thought is still books.
If I want to know about a book, I search Amazon first. Save it until I have at least a $25 order — because I love that free shipping — pay and then wait for it to arrive at my door. As a point of fact, I tend to forget that the company sells other things until I’m on their website. Which brings up one core message design lesson for the smaller brand: remember who you came with.
Now-a-days when you visit Amazon it says,
online shopping for electronics, apparel, computers, books, DVDs & more.”
Seems like they’re trying to position themselves as the online equivalent to Walmart. And when small brands try to learn from big brands, we can lead ourselves astray if we don’t understand one basic thing: it’s usually a core product that gets you in the door. And Amazon.com knows this.
Look at the money and effort they’ve put into their own technology product, and iPad alternative, the Kindle. You can do a lot of things on the Kindle Touch or Kindle Fire, but the main pleasure is reading books — which takes us back to the original message behind Amazon.com, “the Earth’s largest bookstore.”
You don’t have to sell everything in order to be successful.
But you do have to excel at the main thing. If you do this right, then your shoppers may learn to purchase other items while in your store.
Your brand is built on a core message designed to define you and attract the right audience. Consider Apple products. What’s the first thing that comes to mind?
Even though Apple has an online bookstore it is not all about books. When you think Apple, you think technology — Computers, iPods, iPhones, the iPad. If you know, like and trust their brand, chances are you’ll eventually purchase an iPad. And because you have an iPad, you’ll shop in the iBookstore.
Amazon, however, is a bookstore. And because you buy so many books from them you could end up with a Kindle product. But if you have an iPad, you’ll still shop at Amazon, especially if you’re an avid reader. After all, it’s THE bookstore online.
Message design is about identifying and protecting your core conversation.
For Apple, it’s the idea that they “think different” and the technology that comes from that thought process.
For Amazon, whether they like it or not, it’s books and everything that comes with that territory — print books, e-books, audio books, electronic book readers, and so on.
It’s time to do a little message designing of your own. To be effective, remember the main problem that your public thinks you solve and work from there. The goal is to bridge the gap between what you want to do for them and what they want to buy from you.
PHOTO: Woman by Dudarev Mikhail via Fotolia