Imagine you are on holiday and you need to buy milk. Nothing fancy; just milk. After entering a store, you find your way to where the milk is kept. There are three brands and none of them are familiar to you. They also all have the same price for the size that you want. Which would you buy? Would you like more information about these brands and what they offer? What if one of the brands cost more, would you want to know why? Or would you either dismiss it as overpriced or maybe gamble that its price reflects the quality and choose it?
This is a situation commonly faced by consumers, across most categories. Consumers tend to have only vague impressions about most brands they buy, and even less understanding about those they don’t buy. Because we work with a brand and product category we can easily forget the basic information needs of consumers when considering a brand.
Give Consumers a Reason to Buy Your Brand | Product Claims
Consumers need a clear and memorable reason for why they should by your brand. One of the best tools for delivering this reason are your product claims. A product claim is a short statement about what it is that your product does. This claim can be about benefits, customer experience or the offer. A good claim answers the question in the consumer’s head “I should buy Brand X because . . .”
“I should buy Brand X because . . .”
Brand Marketers not used to creating product claims can mistakenly think they are too rational and lacking in deep insights. This could not be further from the truth! Well worded product claims elicit emotion and speak to why your brand is important. Well crafted product claims provides an anchor to other creative elements.
Below are some examples of product claims from different categories.
- Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate – ‘The equivalent of a glass and a half of pure full-cream dairy milk in every 200g of Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate’
- Colgate – ‘Colgate Total® Advanced Clean helps maintain a dentist clean feeling that lasts’
- Bupa – ‘Over 120 Bupa owned Members First Network dental clinics across Australia would love to provide you with expert dental care’
- University of Technology, Sydney – ‘The #1 young university in Australia’
- Milo – ‘MILO® is a nutrient rich, low GI malt powder drink, which gives kids the nourishing energy they need to take on the day’
Each of the above product claims linked to something about the product that is true to a trigger of choice. An effective product claim moves beyond a mere description of a product, to framing what is important to the consumer.
Creating Effective Product Claims
Writing product claims is easy; writing a winning product claim takes work and creativity. To write winning product claims also takes an understanding of your product and your customers. Follow the below six steps to help you create winning product claims.
- What are your product truths? List all your product the features, including any defining manufacturing, supply, and company features. While tempting at this stage to screen out things you think are not important; don’t! This list should be long. Editing the list now is likely to result in a category predictable claim rather than something distinctive and motivating.
- How do your product truths link to consumer benefits? For every feature, ask yourself these two questions ‘how is this feature a benefit to your consumers?’ and ‘how does this feature signal quality?’. If the feature does not link to either, remove it from the list. Those features that have a clear link to both should go to the top of the list.
- What market insights would help improve your claims? Use your market insights to understand what makes a benefit important and the emotional benefits linked to the feature.
- Wordsmith it! Try to write the claim in as many ways as possible. Try writing to claim from a promotion and prevention orientation. Never settle on one wording for a claim. Look to see what your competitors are saying.
- Are you legally allowed to say that? Before testing, make sure you can say it. While tempting to test something ‘just to see’ if it is not legal you may not only be wasting money but may also be creating legal issues just by testing.
- Test and refine. Testing claims ensures you are investing in a message that motivates. How you test and refine your claims depends on the number of claims you want to test and how much more consumer input you need to ensure it delivers the right message the right way. For testing fifteen or more claims, using a choice method like MaxDiff/ BestWorst is often the best approach. For getting detail on why your claims are working or not, focus groups are ideal.
Creating claims that move from mere product descriptions to something that gets attention and delivers results, requires a strong understanding of your own product and the market. A strong claim can become the consistent message that guides creative development and ties together different communication elements across channels and campaigns.
For those who like to know a bit more
- How Perceptions of Risk Shape Brand Choice
- Using Insights to Build a Customer Centric Business
- Giving your Advertising Impact and Knowing Why