Excerpted from the book Making Websites Win by Karl Blank.
Some products or services—particularly those that are complex—can be hard to describe. When such products are sold using a traditional brand-marketing approach, the results are often disastrous. The visitors don’t buy because they don’t understand what they’ll get.
• Unclear branding waffle: “Music, Meet Home.”
• Copy that wins: “The world’s leading speaker system: Play any song in any room from any phone.”
• Unclear branding waffle: “Introducing the oases of freshness: The Aquaris, the Tritona, the Anapos.”
• Copy that wins: “Choose your water filter jug: a slim one for the fridge, a large one for the table, or a watertight one for on the go.”
• Unclear branding waffle: “Express yourself. Impress yourself.”
• Copy that wins: “The ultimate suite of cloud-based tools for all your marketing communications.”
You get the idea. If you are asked to improve the website of a technical product that is currently being sold with a brand-marketing approach, here’s a useful tip: see if the product has a Wikipedia page.
The Wikipedia page is likely to contain valuable plain-language descriptions that are absent from the manufacturer’s landing page. Plain language almost always beats branding waffle.
A certain wise man has also often said that "clarity trumps persuasion".