As a writer it’s important to be versatile, flexible and adaptable, especially if you want to freelance or run your own business. While it’s great to specialise in an area to the point you have become the resident expert on the subject, after a while you may find there is no challenge or room for growth. It’s rewarding to take a risk and challenge yourself from time to time.
A good writer loves research and analysis, digging around for information, talking to experts, getting all sides to a story, before packaging it all up and presenting it in the appropriate voice to the target audience. With all these boxes ticked, you really can write to any given brief!
James Norton Design (JND) approached me to provide copywriting for a design project they had been commissioned to do by INGLOT, an international cosmetic brand, which has around 280 stores worldwide. They needed a Valentine’s Day campaign to use in their Australian stores but the campaign had to do more than just promote the cosmetic range.
Because they were new to Australia, the brief was to come up with something with impact. The campaign had to:
- appeal to those looking for a Valentine’s Day gift for their loved one
- communicate the key differentiators
- promote the in-store gift card
Writing for retail was something completely new to me at the time, but I soon realised the fundamentals stayed the same. As with any campaign, there are a few fundamentals you should establish right from the start. In the case of a retail brand, considerations was given to the following:
- On the barometer of ‘quality’ compared with ‘value for money’ cosmetics, where did INGLOT lie? As with any piece of writing, I had to establish positioning first.
- Who was I talking to? What were the demographics and personality/profile of the audience? Were they people most likely to buy one-off items, or become loyal and repurchase? Again, as with any other piece of writing, I had to know my target audience.
- What was the aim and objective of the campaign? Was it to make people buy again, buy more, get noticed or simply make customers come in the store? In short, how was this going to be measured? What was the ROI?
- Then I had to establish how I would achieve these objectives. For example how would I ‘persuade’ them to do it?
Since there were a few objectives to be achieved, we decided to run with some in-store banners and posters. We also created some eye-catching packaging for the product itself, and we created a flyer to be given to customers at the check-out.
In-store promotional voucher
Packaging for Freedom System
As you can see, the style and tone of writing called for here is a bit different from writing about technical specifications, editorial or global launch collateral, but with an understanding of what the client wanted and what prospective customers would respond to, the end result was really quite effective.