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The Case for Believability

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Is Deeper than You’d Think—Especially for Those Outside Your Tribe


We believe words in context

I try to help clients understand the limits of their messaging. After we get past the glory of the features (many would stop there and pronounce their marketing “Done!”), we get to benefits. That’s a good place to hang because we are facing outward: how this product/service will help their customer accomplish X. For my medical device clients, after getting beyond the glory of the features, our conversation turns to the benefit promises that can ring true and still be within the legal and regulatory parameters, and still be within what the journal articles support. And still make emotional sense to their intended customer.

Beyond benefits and features, a message is believable because it comes from a much deeper place of fit and truth. A message becomes believable when it suddenly snaps in place with the other factors we already know. The best copywriting does this: it offers words (really ideas) that help place the benefit message into a frame that suddenly makes all sorts of sense.

That snap is why we believe anything. Words “ring true” when we see how they fit our context, where we live. So when we want someone to believe us, we find ourselves building out the context so they can see how and why this idea fits. This is time-consuming when you are talking with someone from outside your tribe, because they don’t see things the way you see them. They have not been inculcated in your doctrine of how we see things around here.

I guess that’s why it’s easier to mostly hide in my tribe.


Image credit: Christopher David White via 2headedsnake

Written by kirkistan

December 14, 2012 at 9:46 am

Posted in Brand Promise, copywriting

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