Customers don’t want work

Work to find out who you are,  is what I mean.

Yesterday, I was perusing the various coupons in the ValPak mailing. Along with the usual assortment of restaurant discounts and bathroom re-fitter ads, there was a simple coupon for $10, $15 or $20 off (depending on the amount of purchase) at Finish Line.  I am pretty certain Finish Line is a sporting goods store, but short of their website URL, there was no other information. No tag line. No locations. Nothing other than a logo with what could be interpreted as a runner, that would indicate what this store is.  In fact, for all I knew, it’s online only.

I went to the Finish Line website and discovered they are indeed an athletic equipment purveyor. They are located in many states, so perhaps that explains the lack of specificity in the ad.

Here’s a note to the Finish Line marketing department: customers don’t want to work to figure out why they should patronize your store. It is YOUR job to tell them. For sure, give them your Web address, but don’t expect them to visit without a reason.

There was no headline or tagline on the ad. And unless you were familiar with Finish Line, the simple enticement of money off is not going to attract you unless it is something that you want to buy.

In any case, this is an example of narcissism in marketing. Everyone knows who I am therefore I don’t have to tell them. There are a few brands that can do that–Coke, Pepsi, McDonalds. But Finish Line is not one of those brands.

Ads need to motivate customers to buy. That is the intent. A savings coupon for something I don’t know I want is not going to do the trick.

Product shots, headlines, taglines are all used in advertising for a reason. You know?


About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.

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