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0 Comments | Jun 16, 2010

Forget “Where’s The Beef?” Where’s The Benefit?

Regular readers of this space (and God bless all of you who aren’t actually related to me!) know that I am an avid recreational bicyclist. During my bike rides, I often find my mind wandering as I try to pass the miles and forget about the wind and/or the heat. While I still concentrate on the road, my thoughts often turn to business, clients, and projects of days, and even years, gone by. And tonight, I drudged up an issue I had with a client several years ago that is still relevant today.

This particular client sold high end, over-the-counter remedy creams targeted primarily for diabetics. All was well until the day came to create a new retail brochure for this client’s foot cream. I wrote my typically non-poetic copy that touted the benefit of the product, while reinforcing that with the science and company behind it. One problem: this client was a bit of a control freak who insisted that copy about the company be front and center with actual product copy secondary. (Did I mention this was a retail brochure for a specific product?)

I could have buckled under and given in, but I refused to stand by and be party to a very bad move. While I fully understand the benefit of selling yourself or your company in order to sell your product, in this era of short attention spans, selling yourself before you sell the product just isn’t going sell product, especially in print. I argued till I was blue in the face but ultimately, the client refused to accept the theory that the solution should come first, and the company that offers the benefit second. In the end, said client and I parted ways very soon after (me with absolutely no regrets, but that’s a blog for another day).

Now consider your advertising and marketing message. Are you advertising the solution your company’s goods or services can provide your customers or just advertising your company? If your answer was the latter, then maybe it’s time to reassess your advertising message. Just as Wendy’s made a huge impact asking Where’s The Beef?, make sure your message puts the solution your service or product can offer consumers at the forefront, so that your ad doesn’t leave them asking, “Where’s the benefit?”