Over the last month I have seen many businesses using sales messages that are just not working. In fact, if anything what they are saying is acting like repellant – instead of attracting what they want.
It is not just small businesses that make this mistake, it is big brands too. I have been wondering, what exactly is it that is so offputting?
The Scent of Cheap Perfume
Most cheap perfume stinks. If you suffer from hayfever, like I do, you will know the unlucky feeling of sitting next to someone who is wearing a heavy dose of cheap perfume. It doesn’t matter what this person says, does or how kind they are, they stink. And I can’t wait to get away from them.
So many people wear cheap perfume as their marketing.
Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint why it is so offputting. Maybe they speak well. What they offer sounds good. They seem very professional and freindly. But there is just something, and it stinks.
Of course, cheap perfume usually smells bad because it’s cheap. But in this situation the reason is a little deeper than that… it’s what it’s trying to cover up.
Using marketing to cover up what stinks doesn’t work.
The sense of smell is the strongest sense for memory, and we use it instinctively to ‘sniff something out’.
One of the main problems that cause stinky marketing is this:
Using a sales message to cover up or avoid something you don’t want in your business. Rather than using your message to attract something you do.
It’s when you say things like “we are not the type of business who does this XYZ stinky thing”.
“We won’t rip you off like the other guys do”
“We won’t keep you waiting all day”
Don’t think of a red apple.
Did you think of one?
It’s really very simple, but also a mistake very easy to make. Stay focused on advertising what you want.
The symbolic metaphor of scent and sense of smell
The sense of smell triggers emotions and memories. ‘Fumes’ can can trigger our sense of smell.
Everyone has had that experience where a certain smell has taken them back in their memory to a time when that smell featured strongly – the sense of smell can do this more dramatically than any other sense.