To anyone and everyone selling something: Pay attention.
The other day, I was having a conversation with a copywriting client who is building a business around teaching people how feel all sorts of hot and dynamite by eating raw.
I said, “You mean like Crazy Sexy Diet?”
And she said, “What’s that?”
And I said, “Holy mother of vodka, you’ve never heard of Crazy Sexy Diet?”
And she said, “No, Ash.”
And I said, “But, really?”
And she said, “Stop making me feel dumb, you big giant jerk.” (Which she didn’t really say, but should have.)
And I said, “Fine, client, but your homework is to immediately go and check it out.”
So she did.
And then we proceeded to dive into a conversation about how this book is no different than any other raw eating guide, per se, but how the fact that it has a really catchy HOOK–Crazy Sexy Diet. And how the name of something can totally, 1,000% make or break you.
It’s a marketing thing, baby.
I then went on to give another example, regarding my One Night Stand copywriting service. I could very easily have called it, “Copywriting Service.” But instead, I chose to name it something that would get people to sit up and pay attention. Something that got people excited. Something that felt fun, that would make it something they’d want to be a part of. Something that would further reinforce The Middle Finger Project brand. I even took it a step further, and named each part of the process:
::: Innocent Flirting, AKA Pre-Session Jamming ::: I’ll send you a pre-session questionnaire for you to fill out, so I can start to know you, and begin meditating on your biz long before we even talk.
::: Intimate Discussion ::: 1 hour call on the day of our session ::: Here’s the fun part of hopping on a call together, getting blissfully excited, and then discussing everything your biz, specifically the direction and objectives for the copy.
::: Down + Dirty Sweat Sesh ::: Up to 5 pages of cunningly cool copy ::: After our call, we’ll break, and I’ll be set to spend the week writing your copy, to make sure it’s the best I’ve got, and you’re my main focus.
::: Nightcap + Pillow Talk ::: Your Feedback ::: Once I send you the first round of drafts, you can sit with it, see how it feels, and then come back with any edits we need to make.
::: Oops, You Forgot Your Panties ::: One round of final edits ::: I’ll take any edits, make the revisions, and come back to you with a lightening bolt of a final draft.
I could have easily just said, “pre-session questionnaire, hour long call, writing and editing,” but can you see why the way I did do it is far more compelling?
What you name your product or service is approximately 97.4% responsible for how well something sells. Seriously. That’s not a real figure, mind you, but for me, as a marketer, naming is of critical importance. Especially when we’re talking online business, and your customers that are showing up on your website have total ADD, and are clicking around like a bunch of crack-head monkeys. You need to cut through the noise. And the best way to do that? Is to start off with a killer name + concept. (I do have a master’s degree in Linguistics, you know. I am not making this shit up.)
It’s all about convincing your customers to take a series of actions–the actions that you want them to take.
And if you want them to buy your product, or sign up for your service? Then the action they needed to take before that was read about your product or service. And the action they would have needed to take before that is to actually click on the product or service. And the action they would have needed before that? Actually CARE about it enough to click. That’s what a name can do for you–create enough of an emotional connection, or spark, so that at the very least, you’re giving yourself the best shot you possibly can at converting visitors into customers. Because they can’t buy your stuff if they aren’t interested enough to even read about it.
Hard Candy’s red nail polish isn’t called red. It’s called Trailer Trash. It reeks of rebelliousness and I love it.
Crayola has a crayon called Fuzzy Wuzzy Brown.
Ben + Jerry has all sorts of great names, my favorite of which is totally Karmel Sutra. Great fucking name.
An article I once read mentioned that studies show that consumers (ahem, your customers) react more positively to imaginative names than not.
And the way you name something absolutely will affect sales. The name of something can be the gem of your entire marketing strategy when done right. Unexpected, interesting or clever names not only stick with us, but they frame your entire brand experience. And if you think your shit’s good? Then the name can also help reflect the brilliance of you and your ideas, too. AND how you’re perceived.
Work to create that emotional connection. Consider names that evoke feelings or images, and always, always go with the end goal of EXCITING your customers–whatever that means with them in mind. When I write copy for clients, I’m constantly harassing them to dig deeper about who their ideal clients are, because I need to thoroughly understand who, exactly, we’re trying to attract. It affects everything–including what we name things. The right name and concept will attract more of the right people, and deter the others. Alternatively, the wrong name and concept will accomplish the same thing–attract the wrong kind of people. And we definitely don’t want that.
It’s about motivating your customers to buy your stuff, by providing them with an experience they’re just fucking aching to have, based on an emotional connection they feel with you.
So to all of the wonderful, talented, beautiful, sexy, smart, savvy life coaches, photographers, web designers, and anyone else hangin’ around these parts–especially writers–(hi!) I plead with you to give yourself a fighting chance, and work on developing a name and concept for your products or services that automatically communicates that you’re different–and that I want to pick YOU. Give me a reason. Make me feel like the experience is going to be a memorable one. Connect with me. And make me smile.
No one ever lost business for making their customers smile. In fact, it’s one of the greatest marketing tactics around.