Generic is Lazy

That shade of yellow brings out your... well... um...

A few years ago, a company (which shall remain nameless) hired me to create new product marketing direction for a whole-food multivitamin supplement. I did market research, evaluated the competition, brainstormed product names, taglines and angles. I picked the strongest and created a brochure and box copy that told a story about the supplement. I billed for ten hours. The client nixed my copy.

Recalling the project, I decided to look it up today and see what kind of copy they ended up using. Here it is — in its entirety —  believe it or not:

This product features a wide array of vitamins, minerals, herbs and other nutrients – including vegetable, fruit and mushroom complexes – to give you the well-rounded nutrition you crave.

Good god, where to start? The writing is bad, nobody “craves” nutrition, and there is no effort to brand or differentiate this product from the scores of similar competitors. If you want to sell your nutritional supplement, you need to do better.

The Lesson: Make sure your company has a real marketing person in place. With the right marketing direction, storytelling and design work, you can offer your nutritional supplement at a premium price… that consumers will be happy to pay. Make it sexy. Our industry is far too dynamic to settle for generic marketing.

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