We are brand-loyal in our household. With each item, it isn’t so much about the label itself. It’s about the experience. All the marketing in the world won’t compel me to buy again if the first experience sucked.
Hellmann’s Mayonnaise. Honestly, I can’t speak about this one personally, except to note the extreme response I got from my husband when I once brought home store brand mayo. On second thought, I can speak on this – that experience was not positive for me. Hellman’s it is from now on, because I just don’t feel so strongly about it and he (ahem) does.
Welch’s grape juice. I do not drink soda, I avoid unnaturally sweetened beverages, and cannot tolerate the acid of orange juice. I love the grapey-ness of Welch’s, but cut it with tap water or seltzer to tone down the natural sweetness. I bought store brand once because it was about a dollar cheaper. A glass of this stuff was less purple than even my watered down version of Welch’s. And it didn’t taste like real concord grapes. It was grapey, but more like grape gum. No thanks.
Puff’s tissues. I have allergies, so I blow my nose a lot. I’ve also had a few nasty sinus infections, and I can tell you that when you’re feeling cruddy, blasting right through a flimsy tissue can push you right over the edge. (I know, yuck). A tissue double-grab is time-consuming mid-sneeze, and at the speed that I can go through a box, we might as well get the higher-priced Puff’s. It all evens out. And my nose is less red. (Really, their marketing is accurate about that one.)
So when I am hired to write for someone, I want to make sure that their experience is stellar. I do price my time at what my skills are worth, and then work very hard to deliver. It may come as a surprise to learn that what I deliver last is words.
What I deliver first are:
Listening. To what the client says they want, and to what they aren’t saying out loud. I listen between the lines. I think about who they are, what the final product should accomplish and what they want to say, but maybe can’t even articulate to me. Listen. Very. Carefully.
Compassion. Everybody needs it. When I treat a client with compassion, I do things like letting them take up a few more minutes than I planned to be with them. I work out a project price that is both fair and fits their needs, and honor the price even if I end up “doing more.” People remember when they are treated with care and consideration.
Quality. This is a broad deliverable. Obviously, I do the best writing I possibly can, carefully proofreading and reviewing content for the project goal. But I also make sure that I communicate with the client, am polite and gracious, and meet or beat deadlines. I simply work as hard for a client as I would want someone working for me.
It’s not that I want to be the grapiest juice or the hardest working tissue…or the most Hellmann-errific mayonnaise. I just want my clients to think so. And I want it to be true.
The overall positive experience behind a brand is what lends its identity so much leverage when you’re standing in the grocery aisle. You look for the familiar, comforting logo that you’ve come to trust or even ‘love.’
That feeling is what I want my clients to experience when they see my logo, here for the first time: