Un-Sales Copy

9 March, 2010

Copywriting, swipe file

“I think that giant American corporations should start asking themselves if the things they make are really, I mean really, better than the ordinary.

Clearly, people want things that make their lives the way they wish they were.”

Great quote to round off my day. Who said that remarkable thing? J. Peterman, of the J. Peterman Company, and in this case– the recently arrived J. Peterman Owner’s Manual No. 76. I subscribe because the catalog is beautiful (“better than the ordinary”) and because it’s a terrific addition to my swipe file. J. Peterman clothing catalog is less about selling clothes and more  about selling the dreamy and romantic stories behind those clothes, “I” become the characters he describes wearing them (“people want things that make their lives the way they wish they were”).

Today J. Peterman’s Philosophy includes those lines quoted above.

As simply put as this idea is, it still only underscores a marketing and sales truism: most people’s purchases are emotional and often are attempts to create some sort of pleasurable experience. J. Peterman sells clothes using subtle sales copy strategies that are not your garden variety sales copy. THIS is the lesson, then.

  • Take any widgetcloud reflection in a modern glass building - illusion
  • Your mission if you choose to accept it: sell a widget, but…
  • You are not able to describe it as a widget
  • You are not able to use widget photos
  • What it does for your customer must be very un-widget.

Sounds impossible, right? It’s exactly the sales model J. Peterman subscribes to and IT WORKS.

(7-Up, “the UN-Cola”… remember that one? very effective….)

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