I was once asked by a teacher to give a presentation about advertising to a class of local high schoolers.
To make it interesting to fidgety and easily bored teens, I focused on soft drink branding and brought in all the sugary drinks I could find at the supermarket.
I wanted to get across the idea that all products have a message – and that we absorb these messages even if we think we’re immune to advertising.
To engage the students, I had them tell me the message of each soft drink and the targeted audience.
I assumed the kids would know immediately what each soft drink “stood for.”
I was right. All I had to do was hold up a bottle or can, and the students were jumping out of their seats to explain each product’s message and the target audience. Even I learned something!
It was a fun presentation – and the teacher thanked me after. She said it was wonderful to see the students so engaged.
Messaging (AKA Branding)
A product’s messages are conveyed through many elements, which are often referred to as branding: product design, colors, images, and most important, the story that is told about the product through advertising and the branding elements.
How you, as a manufacturer, tell your company’s story – through your website’s copy, images, colors, and design – is what helps buyers make the decision to initially contact you and ultimately do business with you.
It all matters – even if you think your customers are immune to “that stuff” because you are. (Hint: they’re not and you’re not. We’re all consumers.)
InControl Medical Realigns Its Messaging
Herschel “Buzz” Peddicord, founder and CEO of InControl Medical, a manufacturer of medical devices sold direct to consumers, had hired a designer to update the company website in mid-2017, but was not happy with the results (Figure 1).
Buzz was frustrated because although he had developed a fantastic product that actually cures a very common problem for women (bladder leakage), and the market for this product was quite large, women were not rushing to buy it.
In fact, with the site redesign, sales had fallen off.
The problem was due to the messages the website was unintentionally communicating. Instead of being created from the perspective of women, the site was quite clinical and confusing, nor did it alleviate their hesitations and concerns about the device.
After talking with the Huff Industrial Marketing team, Buzz and his team realized they needed a website that incorporated multiple messages for three audiences:
- Consumers (women and men) who purchased the OTC (over the counter) devices
- Physicians who prescribed the non-OTC devices
- Investors, journalists, and potential partners who wanted to learn about the company
To address these audiences, we completely redesigned the website a third time, with the carefully crafted messaging front and center: namely, InControl Medical’s products cure adult incontinence – without pills or surgery.
Creating the new messaging, and the new “female” voice, took some time. We interviewed multiple people on staff, toured the facility to see how the devices were made, and performed a great deal of research.
All elements of the new design were chosen to communicate the new messaging, from imagery and fonts to colors and icons.
The overall goal was to build trust and credibility and to put people at ease about purchasing such an intimate device online.
Women, the main users of the OTC device, for example, often wanted to speak to someone before ordering one.
Instead of tucking a “Contact Us” link on the page footer, a call-to-action to speak to a female clinician, as well as the direct phone number and business hours, were added to each web page. (Figure 2)
Other messaging elements included “proof statements” in the form of information about current clinical trials, testimonials, photos of the manufacturing facility, how product materials and components were sourced (Figure 3), and bios and photos of the management team.
The result is a website that tells InControl Medical’s story to multiple audiences – while having a fresh, modern and most important, trustworthy and credible vibe.
Based in Brookfield, WI, InControl Medical designs and manufactures medical devices that cure adult incontinence without pills or surgery. Visit www.incontrolmedical.com