April 05, 2010

Should you make that factory visit? Should you not?

It was Bill Bernbach who said “the magic is in the product.”

He was of the staunch opinion that you’ve got to live with your product, be steeped in it and get saturated with it. Simply put he was insisting on a visit to the factory, to begin with.

Visit the factory, given a chance, and experience the product. Ask all the questions you are itching to ask. Yes, even the silly ones; for it’s the silly questions that often turn out to be selling points because in that silly moment you are actually airing the customers mind.

And never mind if you are not minding your own business with the questioning. It’s only so that you can help them make more of those products! You’re here to help. So ask and read every bit. Get steeped in the product.

As a copywriter or art director, your grasp of the client’s product has to be as good as your Account Manager’s. Seriously. It’ll pay off well.

No it won’t!

O-oh! Here comes conflict.

You are not paid to think like the client. He is already doing that. Why should you do it on his time and money?

You are being paid for your outsider’s perspective. So don’t ever, ever take the factory tour. You need to put yourself in the customer’s shoes instead, you need to voice his reality – the customer doesn’t care what happens on the factory floor. All the customer wants to know is what’s in it for him. All he wants to know is what the product will do for him.

Which side of the argument do you buy?

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