Lynne Jones secures new business at HTDL design agency. For more than thirty years they’ve worked with some of the UK’s biggest brands on digital projects, building new identities and guiding digital transformation. When a multinational electronics company wanted to reinvent their product range HTDL booked Natalie Smithson to help with the copy. Working with Natalie for the first time, Lynne was surprised by “the speed Natalie got under the skin of the brief” to give the client the copy they knew they wanted but couldn’t express.
“Natalie has a totally fresh approach“Lynne Jones
Strong copy shields buyers from the complexities of digital transformation
Your customer is ready. Reluctant to accept change, perhaps. But ready. Because if you’re frustrated by your clunky old systems or a dated appearance, you can bet they are too.
Plonk an elephant in a field full of daisies and people are going to notice. Instead, you want the seamless appearance of a new but relevant image that sits comfortably with the paying customer.
Say what your customer is already thinking (even if it’s negative) to earn loyalty
Natalie’s copywriting research painted an ugly picture for the electronics client.
Their product? Printers.
And, as we know, people hate printers.
“Printers, unlike other technologies, are remarkable in the fact that they’re just as crappy and unreliable now as they were in 1995”
Office workers everywhere want to smash them to pieces. Google searches, finds, and regurgitates this image as a popular representation of our relationship with the boxey paper pushers:
Three pages of Natalie’s presentation to Lynne and her client was filled with negativity:
It was going to be hard work to turn this image around.
Thankfully, the electronics giant had already dragged the traditional model for printer design bleeping and blinking into the 2020s. Natalie knew her key task was to let the customer know that the battle with the office printer was over.
Rather than ignore the negative feeling towards printers, she embraced it and used it to highlight positive change — not just an upgrade, but a complete rejection of all the things they’d hated up until now.
Lynne gives Natalie 5 stars
“Natalie has an excellent approach coupled with a great personality. Definitely get her on board!“
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Copywriting is hit and miss without a firm process — don’t skimp on it!
There was “a bit of the unknown” at first working with Natalie, says Lynne, as “we didn’t really know much about her”. But having Natalie “fully grasp and understand the brief” so quickly is why they wanted to work with her, said Lynne — that and “great words”, she added.
Natalie and HTDL knew office managers up and down the country would gladly ditch their old printer faster than they could steal a Hobnob from the biscuit barrel. They’d want the new model, but mindset (aka ‘all printers suck’) is not so easy to shift. And as marketers, they knew that too.
Since Natalie’s copywriting process is research-led, she was quickly able to identify some angles that could work.
- What does the customer feel about printers?
- What do they want from their product?
- Are any other manufacturers dealing with this and how?
- How do we make our client stand out?
The bland language used by competitors (above) certainly helped.
At the end of the copywriting process, Natalie showed Lynne the research and results, mocking up the pages for the copy to show why she chose the language and tone she did. But also how it would look on the page, so Lynne could make well-informed, fast decisions for her client.
The client got so much out of Natalie’s unveiling of the copywriting process, which she presented on video, they asked HTDL to produce an audio script for their new product so their own customers could benefit from a similar experience. Alongside the copy and the product visuals, the audio would help their customer make their best buying decision.
Don’t merely talk about a change. Announce a transformation 💥
Cutting through an eroded reputation for the infamous office printer took some doing. Trying to polish up new design features as “high quality” or “affordable” isn’t enough to convince anyone that you’ve listened to the problem and truly addressed it.
By digging around in the murky truth, Natalie let the customer know they’d been heard:
‘The BIG change you wanted to see?
Here it is.’