A simple three-word phrase is surely the most successful sales slogan of all time, yet you never see it on a billboard; you never see it in adverts; you never see it in brochures or promotions.
Tucked away on the back of the product, not even in a prominent place or different size typeface – but ultimately responsible for generating huge additional revenues as it means that we use the product potentially twice as fast as we need to.
The simple phrase lather-rinse-repeat is so ingrained in our minds, probably since childhood, that we happily and unquestioningly accept….. that shampoo doesn’t work properly the first time…
If a new washing powder for clothes was launched today and the instructions said go through a machine wash cycle and then do it all over again, would you buy it? If the latest antibacterial handwash directed you to wash your hands and then wash them again in order for them to be clean, would you buy it?
Yet even the most expensive shampoos still tell you to lather-rinse-repeat. Some manufacturers have softened that instruction, presumably realising the impact of implying that their product isn’t particularly effective first time round – but even they still can’t tear themselves away from the potential increased sales from customers using double quantities, so they say “Repeat if necessary.” Because they know that deep down we all really believe that shampoo ‘needs’ a repeat wash, so we expect to see those words….
How powerful is that as a win theme?
Just goes to show what you can do with words.
Lather-rinse-repeat certainly worked for shampoo! it ticks the ‘power of three’ box in that we remember three words more than any other combination, it’s short and easily memorable (“Every little helps” ), it tells users instantly what to do with the product, it uses some alliteration which helps memory – and it’s turned into a massive money-spinner! Quite a win theme. How does your bid wording stack up?
When we write proposals, we always keep in mind that we are putting together the words that need to deliver your sales messages: words that inspire, words that sell, words that win. 3 x the power of 3!
And if you’re a shampoo manufacturer, you don’t need us to tell you how to take the whole market: just launch a product that proclaims itself as the first shampoo that works first time…. the simplest proposal anyone could ever write.
Vorsprung durch Technik indeed….