How Do You Keep Customers Coming Back to You?
Joe has a gift. He can turn mere words into money – lots of money. And I was there to learn from the best. So I was pumping him for nuggets of wisdom.
Joe was bored with me though. He was playing with me – like a lazy cat with a tiny mouse.
So when he suddenly asked me, “why do people write such cheesy ads,” I didn’t take the bait. He was the Master. I was the Student.
My lips were zipped, waiting for the punchline.
I’ll never forget that wicked little smile that spread across his face. He paused a beat, then jumped to his feet, clapping his hands by his ear as he answered his own riddle with a little rhyme.
Cuz’ it’s easy (clap clap clap)
To be cheesy (clap clap clap).
Cheese is for Sandwiches
I was thinking of Joe today as I watched one of Toyota’s “Pat” ads. Pat gets paid a ton of money to act like a complete moron in Toyota commercials. Those commercials are cheesy as hell. Cheesy and offensive. I guess they took about 4 minutes to write.
They feature the unholy trinity of lousy writing:
- Fake emotions
- Fake feelings
- Fake sentiment
See, the biggest problem with ads like these is that they have no respect for the audience. The only authentic emotion in that ad is the utter contempt the writer feels for his audience.
And we – the audience – can feel his contempt.
Pro Tip: Wanna keep customers coming back to you? Don’t treat them with contempt.
Authentic Emotion is the Powerful Attractor
On the other hand, authentic emotion is impossible to resist.
Compare the horrible Toyota “Pat” ads to Subaru’s sublime “I’m Sorry” ad. I wrote about those ads here.
Watch the Subaru ad, then watch a Toyota “Pat” ad. Which one made you feel good? Which one made you want to vomit?
If you’re a parent, I guarantee you loved the Subaru ad. You are the kind of person they want as a customer.
(If you’re a professional clown, maybe you loved the Toyota ad. And maybe that’s who they want. I dunno.)
Question: would you rather share your Thanksgiving dinner with the guy who wrote the Subaru ad? Or with the guy who writes these stupid Toyota Pat commercials?
See, to get customers coming back to you, you must get them emotionally connected to you. So you to treat them with dignity, with respect and genuine feeling.
You don’t carpet-bomb your target audience with stupid, thoughtless messages. And you especially don’t take the easy-cheesy route.
Be real. Be simple. Share your common humanity. Open your heart to touch their hearts.
Subaru’s simple, direct message – with authentic emotion – is worth 10,000 phony and irritating Toyota Pat commercials.
Beware the Millennial BS Detector
If you struggle to add authentic emotion to your message, ask us for help. (We’re pros.) At the very least, show some respect to your audience and refrain from resorting to cheese, ok?
If your target audience is under 35, authentic emotion is even more essential. Millennials in particular seem to be repelled by contrived emotion.
If you want to be irresistible, then be real. If you want customers coming back to you for years, be honest.
Contrived emotion — aka: “cheese” — provokes contempt from your audience. Authentic emotion says, “I respect you. I relate to you. I am just like you.”
Now, here’s how to do that.
Refine your persona down to 3 or 4 of its essential elements. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your company persona or your personal persona.
These 3 or 4 qualities will form the “voice” you use to talk with your customers. It should be a voice they can respect and also identify with. This is how you hook their hearts.
Joe would be proud.