Brand Message

If you have young kids, you’ve likely had to say NO to the pet goldfish, turtle, bunny,  snake, or even the puppy or kitty your kids plead for.

I’ve almost successfully resisted pet ownership in my 13 years of parenthood.

I gave in to a hamster a few years ago, and now I have a couch whose cushion corners are chewed to bits by a hamster escapee. And then there was the $225 vet bill we paid due to said hamster’s water bottle malfunctioning for three days, thus needing 2 antibiotics, 1 pain killer, syringe feeding, and subcutaneous hydration treatments to bring the little $8 rodent back to life.

Don’t get me wrong…I love puppies and kittens and cute furry things. I just have commitment issues with them. I also can’t handle one more living creature in my house that needs me to feed it, clean up after it and solve its life problems…not to mention, destroy what nice furniture I have left.

But, my kids continue to plead.

To make a long story short, we now have five kittens.

Wait, what?

Yes, I said five kittens.


How in tarnation does a commitment-phobic non-pet person end up with five kittens?

Because the decision had nothing to do with the rational reasons for NOT getting kittens, and everything to do with the emotional reasons of why we should.

That’s how.

They’re cute. They make my kids happy. They make us laugh. They’re playful, cuddly, soft plus all 582 reasons why people like pets.

Oh, one more thing… these are foster kittens. We’ve been taking care of them for about a month now, and they will go back to the shelter soon to find their forever homes.

I may be a crazy cat lady, but it’s temporary insanity.

So what in the hairball does this have to do with anything?

To illustrate the proper way to craft a marketing message.

The shelter could say:

Volunteer in our a foster program and help save the kittens. We provide the food and supplies. You just have to make sure they’re sleeping, eating, pooping, gaining weight, and learning to be around people. Registering to become a foster is easy, just fill out these forms.

Or, they could say:

Enjoy the satisfaction of holding, cuddling, and caring for baby kittens in the comfort of your own home. Discover how fostering a kitten will give your family a new way to experience the joy, love, and laughter a pet brings.

The difference is in how you describe the benefits. One is about the kittens, the other is about the prospect (the potential volunteer). One describes “the thing”. The other describes what they can expect as a result of having/doing “the thing.”

Here’s a great analogy I recently came across: When marketing, don’t describe the plane (how to get there), describe the destination.

Sounds straightforward, but not as easy to implement as you think.

That’s because you as the professional and the business owner, are all about “your thing.” You know everything about it and it makes you feel happy, smart, and confident when you talk about “your thing.”

And you think people will be oo’d and ah’d at how much you know “your thing.”

In reality, people don’t care much for your thing. They have their own problems, and they just want it solved. The more you talk about your thing, the more you will bore them.

But the more you talk about their problems, they more they will pay attention to you.

Meanwhile, you can find out how your message stacks up in the eyes of the prospect with the Zine Marketing Assets Analysis.  Click here for more information. 

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