In my “Friday Bits” columns, I write about solopreneur-related news, info, and amusements.
The phrase “I know it when I see it” was famously uttered by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964) to describe his threshold test for obscenity. Stewart wrote:
I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [of pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.
The same can be said for great copywriting: I know it when I see it.
And we remember great copywriting. If you’re a male an over age 45, you remember the copy from the 1970s Skin Bracer ads:
If you need waking up, slap on some Skin Bracer. Bracer’s the morning one. It’s skin tightener and chin-chillers work like a cold slap in the face. “Thanks, I needed that.”
The copy didn’t even make sense. What’s a skin tightener? What are chin-chillers?! But every word fit snugly, like a piece of well-made furniture.
“If you need waking up” sets forth the problem.
“Slap on some Skin Bracer” deals with the “how.”
“Bracer’s the morning one” tells men “when” to use Skin Bracer.
The use of just one word — “work” — slows the pace of the copy and tells us that Bracer will get the job done.
And there’s a comedic element — the Three Stooges-esque double slap that’s administered by an unknown hand. Finally, the original problem (waking up) is resolved in the last line, “Thanks, I needed that.”
For an example of bad copywriting, look no further than Skin Bracer’s current copy, which reads, “Skin Bracer. A great way to face the day! Cools skin and shrinks pores so your face feels and looks healthy.” Oh my gosh, how the mighty have fallen.
How to Replace Your iPhone Battery
Did you know you CAN replace the battery in your iPhone5s? Here are the instructions, from Antony Leather of Inc.com.
See Need. Meet Need.
The formula for business success can be stated in four words: See need. Meet need.
My oldest daughter is a sophomore in high school. There’s a boy in her grade who’s launched a cool business: fixing and replacing broken iPhone screens.
If you’re the parent of a teen, you know how brilliant the idea is.
How To Use Video For Customer Service
Using video for customer service can decrease service costs while increasing customer satisfaction, according to a post at SmallBizTrends by Barry Moltz. Use video for customer service in three areas:
Pre-sale. These videos show how the product can be used.
Post-sale Q and A. Use demonstrations to answer common installation questions.
One-on-one replies to customers. This is a perfect way to build a more personal relationship with a customer. It can be as easy as a 15-second recording from a desk cam where an employee thanks a customer for calling or posting a comment.