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David Squires

Advertising Rule No.1: Always Be Specific

Why do so many jewelry stores shy away from specifics in their advertising?

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MOST PEOPLE LIKE YOU for very specific reason.

It might be that you’re the only store around that carries David Yurman. Or maybe it’s your own award-winning custom designs. Perhaps it’s the free jewelry insurance you offer with major purchases. Or it could well be the music you play in your store. Maybe it’s the fact that your ads make people laugh. Or because they love coming to your Monday night football game-watching parties. It might be your collection of estate jewelry from Hollywood stars of yesteryear. Or it could be the oatmeal-raisin cookies you serve. (And that great, fresh-baked cookie smell.) It might be something as small as the way your doorperson says “Hey-hey, whaddaya say?” when a customer arrives.

But the fact is, people usually like you for a very specific reason.

So why, when do so many jewelry stores (and retailers of every ilk) shy away from specifics in their advertising?

It’s an excellent question raised by Bob Hoffman, writer of the popular “Ad Contrarian” blog, in his new book “101 Contrarian Ideas About Advertising”.

Says Hoffman: “Throughout my career, one of the toughest things I have had to do is to convince my clients to be more specific … Perhaps my favorite example of this was the idea the iPod was launched with. Not ‘world-class mp3 player’. Not ‘a whole new way to enjoy music’. But this: ‘A thousand songs in your pocket.'”

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How can you be more specific? Get yourself a little of that “thousand songs in your pocket” convincing-ness?

Start thinking about it.

Instead of promising “world class service”, promise “We answer on the first ring” or “Always ready to try on jewelry with you for an hour” or even “Raining? We’ll walk you to your car”.

Instead of “We’ll make you look beautiful!”, promise “One guaranteed compliment the first day you wear it or your money back!”

Got any others?

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David Squires is the Group Editorial Director of SmartWork Media. He believes that the first role of business media is to inspire readers.

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