I love Brewdog Punk IPA. It’s probably my favourite beer that you can pick up off the supermarket shelf.
What first drew me to Brewdog Punk was the branding on the can. When it first came out, it was really distinctive amongst the mainstream beer and larger on the shelf. It didn’t look mainstream. At the time, bottles and cans tended to reflect a ‘for everyone’ theme or ‘old man beer’.
Brewdog looked fresh. Bold colours, bold name.
What got me even more was when I picked up the can. It felt different to other cans. Smoother, denser, high quality, expensive. Apparently this is the result of a soft touch varnish finish.
All of the above persuaded me to try it. I took it home, tasted it, loved it. Then I was a loyal customer.
The can enticed me to try the beer, the content of the can turned me into a customer.
Don’t stop at the package
When you want to earn attention, it’s critical that you put thought into the container that you’re sending the message in. What’s most likely to get opened and what does it look like? Is it an email, letter, package, etc? The first obstacle to direct marketing is having someone open your message.
You have a range of emotional threads that you can tug at to persuade the recipient to open that message. Could be intrigue, anticipation, excitement, fear, force of habit…
So let’s say you create a really thoughtful package to intrigue the person receiving it. They weren’t expecting the package and what they’re receiving looks exciting, like the kind of thing that contains a gift. Could be any type of gift, maybe in the conventional sense like the type you receive on your birthday, or like receiving a book that you pre-ordered months ago and forgot all about.
When you’ve gone to the effort to produce a package worth opening, it’d be a waste not to put the same amount of thought into the content inside the package. It’s not enough to just focus all your attention on getting someone to open a letter that contains a load of rubbish which is not relevant to the person receiving the letter.
Relevance here means, relevant to the person opening the letter. That means you identify a problem that they personally experience, plus the solution you put forward rings true.
The three critical things to address
First is the call to action. You could send a package or parcel that contained very little other than intrigue and a call to action which leads to a message elsewhere (like a landing page on your website).
That’s a valid option. In fact, I’ve done that myself and it works. What do you want people to do after they receive the package? First, you need to have complete clarity yourself on that, then you need to clearly communicate this within the package.
Secondly, What problem do you address, and how does this problem relate to the person opening the package? The biggest problem that you’re product solves, that’s what you should start with.
Third – How does your product solve the problem. That’s ultimately what you’re selling. Not the superficial problem or solution, but the fundamentals.
So, my problem isn’t that when someone breaks into my home, my home doesn’t omit a really loud and ugly screeching sound across the street. My home is where I keep the things that are most precious to me: my family, my irreplaceable belongings, my wealth…my problem is the fear I experience when I’m out of the house for extended periods of time, or when I’m sleeping, something or someone might come along and take everything that means something to me.
The solution is a product that deters people from entering, or if they do having a system which immediately alerts the police. So, what you’re selling me is security and peace of mind that I don’t need to fear losing everything that I love.
Action, problem and solution
Packages are really important, but ultimately you need to clearly communicate the problem, the solution and the action on what we should do next. If you nail those three points, you’re direct marketing campaign will certainly deliver a success rate. The intricacies and details along the way will determine how successful.