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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Art of Writing Engaging Product Descriptions

...and why it matters.

words by By Jingo

One of the things that small, boutique business owners frequently tell us is that they struggle with writing compelling product descriptions. They know that a good description has the ability to convert a potential customer into a buying (and even loyal) one, but they’re not quite sure what to do or how to do it.

We thought we could explore this further and hopefully offer some useful suggestions on how to write some bad-ass product descriptions for your business.

We’ve noticed that the most common approach is to describe the facts (or the ‘features’, as advertising folks refer to it). For example, say you sell kitchenware and you’re wanting to describe a tablecloth from your range of kitchen accessories. Usually people will say something like this:

“Table cloth with pink and red retro-floral print, authentic vintage material, easy to clean, measuring 120cm x 120cm. Suitable for small table. $39.95”

While this tells the customer the obvious features of the product, it does very little to convey the benefits. It doesn’t say anything that would leave a lasting impression.

The features of a product are like the brass tacks – what the product can do, its dimensions, its specifics. You know, the necessary (but not terribly exciting) stuff. The benefits, on the other hand, are where you can let your creativity do the heavy lifting. Here you can communicate just what the product can accomplish for your customer on a personal and emotional level. What does it give them? How does it add to their lives?

Take this example where we’ve combined the features from the original description with some sweet benefits.

“Woo your guests with this pink and red retro floral tablecloth, made from genuine vintage fabric and designed to enhance any table setting. Whether it’s for a vintage themed party, or for a casual afternoon tea with friends, this tablecloth makes sure your cupcakes are sitting pretty. Only $39.95 for 120cm x 120cm of seriously swoon-worthy table covering.”

The main thing is not the ‘what’ but the ‘why’. Not the ‘how’ but the ‘how come.’ How does this product value-add to the customer’s life? After all, the customer doesn’t care about the tablecloth as much as s/he cares about the memories it will make and how incredible it will look on Instagram.

To further make our point, when people buy an Apple product they’re not just buying a high-tech, sleek looking device. They’re buying into a world of creativity and possibility. They’re saying, “This product connects me to a brood of other creatives and innovators – with whom I share similar values and lifestyles.” 

With every product description, try and tap into, and reinforce, your broader brand message. If you don’t know what a brand personality is and why you need one – read our blog,What’s a brand personality and why the heck do you need one.” 

We recently did a range of new product descriptions for a local menswear brand ‘Leo and Spargo’.

If you don’t know about them, the menfolk in your life are missing out big-time! Do check ‘em out later.

Here is an example of a product and how we chose to describe it.


SAVE YOUR BREATH T-SHIRT

“Mark Twain famously said, ‘Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference’. It’s in this spirit that we bring you our Save Your Breath tee. It’s a reminder to remain calm, keep your sanity, and a warning for would-be windbags. Save your breath for breathin’ — and for cooling your porridge.”

You’ll notice that we said very little about the actual facts of the tee. Sure, “available in white or navy and features a vintage inspired, hand-drawn type logo. Lightweight, 100% cotton t-shirt.” etc. will be included in the final description, but we didn’t front-end load it with these features. Instead, we decided to focus on the meaning that the audience will emotionally connect with — using a bit of humour throughout. What’s more, all the descriptions tie back to the overarching brand story of Leo & Spargo. For more examples of product descriptions visit www.leoandspargo.com

The other thing to notice is the succinct nature of the description.

Back to the tablecloth example. Why don’t you try writing your own description – using the said tablecloth as your guide? Remember to strike a balance between features & benefits, the larger brand message, and of course the lifestyle of your consumer.

The key is to not overegg the pudding. Keep your descriptions short, punchy and to the point.



If you’d like to discuss how By Jingo can help you with product descriptions, or anything that involves words — let us know, we’re happy to chat.

Contact Details...
By Jingo
0417 121 282
Email: hello@byjingocopywriting.com.au
Website: http://byjingocopywriting.com.au/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/byjingocopywriting?ref=hl

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for such a great topic Tanya, and for addressing it so eloquently By Jingo. I think that creative product descriptions are something that we can all struggle with from time to time. These tips give us some great ideas for really jazzing up our sales listings. Thanks so much for the suggestions!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lauren.
      Glad you found the post helpful.
      Best Wishes,
      Lee

      Delete

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