The Art of Presentation

Yesterday I was cruising the grocery store aisles for sugar for my morning coffee-fix. From about 20 feet away, I immediately noticed something – the packaging on my familiar brand had undergone a major overhaul. It was bolder, clearer and also included some laughable verbiage regarding 15 calories per serving (come on, we’re talking about sugar here).The point is, the fundamental virtues of the product had not changed at all.  The only thing that had, however, was the presentation.

In the world of small business marketing and advertising, entrepreneurs are in a constant fight for visibility. If you are one of them, you may feel compelled to triple your marketing budget or maybe do something drastic like revamp your entire product line to attach more customers. Before you go through such measures to heighten your visibility you may want to take a candid look at the presentation of your existing product and/or services.

I recently heard about a published book that sat on bookstore shelves with virtually no movement. Despite the herculean effort to write the book, the author inevitably began to feel as though the book was a dud and began to second guess the book’s premise. Before the book was abandoned, it fell into the hands of a dynamic marketer. This creative thinker implored the author to re-release an unrevised version of the book. The marketing strategist did, however, demand that the title and the cover be changed. As a result, this piece of literature skyrocketed to success on account of, your guessed it – presentation.

With that story as our backdrop, take a moment to see if the following points can inspire new ideas for your presentation:

Name ChangeKnow that a descriptive, colorful name change has the ability to shift how consumers think about things. Imagine walking into a bakery to order a pie. Which of the two would sound more appealing: Apple Pie or something like, Orchard Fresh Apple Pie? A name augmentation alone has the ability to raise your product’s standing in the mind of the consumer.Highlighting Features and BenefitsI recall buying allergy medication for my son.  His doctor clearly stated that the store brands were just as effective as the name brands.  However, when I picked up both packages, it appeared that the name brands were better. Why? Their packaging used phrases such as “maximum relief” whereas the store brand did not. In reality, the ingredients and the potency were identical. Hence the name brand wasn’t better; they simply had a superior way of detailing their benefits. Be just as shrewd. Though you should never overstate things; don’t be found guilty of doing the opposite.

AestheticsAbout a year ago I began to hear the word, “optics” in political discourse.  Translation: how does a certain thing look or appear? This is a key question that you must answer as a small business owner.  How does your website look? Is your product packaging uninspired and listless? Are your employees and store’s appearance unkempt and disheveled? Aesthetics are the very first step in either repelling or attracting customers.

Walter Dailey is a proven creative strategist. He’s the lead consultant and executive producer for Dailey Sound Vector, a creative services organization that specializes in jingles, radio ads and music licensing for small and mid-sized businesses.  Walter is finally on Twitter. Follow him here: @wrdailey