I was reading an article in Marketing Magazine that noted the power of the Catholic Church’s brand and I was reminded of something my cousin said about the bible (she’s a nun so I take this on good authority). In the bible, Jesus is described as telling parables to his followers. He talked about sheep to the shepherds and fish to the fishermen. He changed his message to refer to people and places that were familiar to the group he was talking to wherever he was. People understood and bought into the messages because they were delivered in a way that they understood.
Time after time, companies struggle with their marketing because they talk in their own language and not in the language of their target market. I once observed a focus group of farmers who were looking at an ad that made a reference to clean laundry. The farmers didn’t get it because most farmers don’t do their own laundry – all of the marketers, graphic artists and copywriters did, but they weren’t buying the product. The ad didn’t speak the language of the target market. (Thank goodness we tested it in a focus group first – but that is another lesson.) The next time you are creating words that are intended to help your customers buy from you, ask yourself the question, “What would Jesus do?”