Plain Vanilla, please. In an exotic land where I’m trying to figure out the next turn on the map and next food I could chew on, it’s the simple and familiar I head for when I’m really hungry.
Aamer Ghol or whatever it is called could be yummier on my palate but, please, I’m not ready to take a chance. At least, not when I’m hungry.
I go for what I understand. I know, so do you. We have an built-in mechanism to select the familiar and reduce our risks. That’s exactly what my copy does. It boils down to the bottom, removing all the needless fluff.
I remember going to a brand new texmex restaurant in the plush areas of Gurgaon, India. And having never been to America or Mexico at that time, we thought this would be our cheap peek into that part of the world.
The décor was totally cowbow-style, like we’d entered a Texan barn or something, or so we thought. We were very impressed. The menu card had a price list that scared us completely. Everything was exorbitant. That impressed us even more. But we had no idea what those items were – tacos, enchiladas, tortillas, salsa and what not.
We boldly ordered a tortilla. Imagine, just one tortilla — for the whole family. That’s how ignorant we were. From the enormous price, we believed it to be like an extra large pizza of some kind loaded with cheese and all the good things on earth.
Guess what! Well, actually you’ve already guessed it. We came home a few hundred rupees poorer, started the stove and cooked some food to fill us up. Of course, we never went back there again.
That’s what happens when we don’t understand. We get impressed, we make wrong decisions. And then we are mighty disappointed.
Now, coming back to the first story, if someone were to explain that aamer ghol is nothing but their familiar favorite mango lassi, many would leap and go for that Aamer Ghol on the menu, their tongue dripping with saliva.
Saying it in plain terms, something that your customer will understand is an art. It’s also a skill.
Simplifying is all the more a need when difficult concepts have to be explained to your potential customer.
Putting ourselves in the shoes of our customers, we prefer to understand everything that is told to us, that we are about to read. If it’s hard, we respectfully put it away. We’re impressed, but thank you, no more of that.
A cute example here. The other day I saw a whatsapp post from a friend about venturing into an aqua-thermal treatment of ceramics, aluminum and steel under a constrained environment. I thought that was a really important research project.
I was impressed.
It was soon apparent that he was about “washing dishes”. Go back and read that again. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Aqua-thermal treatment is the hot water and soap scrub, and the rest of it are the dishes sitting in the constrained environment of the sink. Voila.
Now, coming to the business point, if your website sounds like that exotic science research, it’ll scare your prospects away. Or they may sign up for something they did not need and then discard your company altogether. Is that what you want?
I like writing without a jargon. Without a single difficult word. Something even a 12-year-old would understand. It’s a talent I was not aware of. Not until everyone started telling me that my explanations are as plain as vanilla icecream or even Mango lassi. And that I could even explain rocket science to elementary school kids.
Imagine what it can do to your business, if everything was as simple as ever. You’d definitely save up a substantial amount of “the continued progress of existence and events that conjure up the past, present and future as a whole”.
That’s the roundabout way of saying you’d save a good deal of time.
Simple, candid writing style may not clearly impress to make the readers admire you silently with a tinge of jealousy. But it surely helps to understand and to take decisions and to get things done.
My niche is the environment, specifically eco-friendly home goods and cleaners and “green” energy services. For most people, it is a tough area to understand. At least, it is a challenge to get people to sign up for these products that are typically more pricy than regular goods. I love that challenge. In the past several years, I have spoken at many places, written in many forums to explain how things work in nature and where we stand out in the middle of it. Many changed dramatically, some over time.
I feel humbled to think that it did the Earth some good.
Simple expressions are the mantra of the times. In the middle of all this complexity or technological contraptions and the digital age, the plain vanilla style stands out.
Bottomline – life’s challenges seems much easier when you understand most of the things you hear, read and learn. One can take more strides towards change when you what you’re signing up for.
At your business, your job gets done faster because you didn’t chew your fingers off figuring out any mystery. Then, you can afford to go out and jostle with a leathered sphere and tantalize the custodians of the netted citadel.
In plain words, you can now go play ball! While I handle your copies with care.