Sell It! - writercize #188 #AtoZChallenge

Image courtesy morgueFile

What sells? How do we choose how to part with our money?

  • Do you want to buy a pizza because it is a meal measuring 10 inches in diameter with a couple of toppings, or do you want to buy a pizza because it is a fun and creative way to put dinner on the table?
  • Are you going to sign a contract with a wedding photographer because she shoots 500 photos in six hours and delivers them digitally, or because she gets the photo-journalism vibe you are going for and has a winning smile?
  • Do you pick a cell phone based on the gigabytes of memory and address book capabilities or the hip techie feeling you get when you talk with the sales person and hold the phone in your hand?
  • Is your purse a place to store your wallet and keys, or does the brand and design say something to the world about who you are?
  • When picking high heels, do you go for the practical pumps or the lofty lifts?
  • When it is time to buy an apple, do you head to the closest grocery store and pick up a Red Delicious, or do you seek out a Whole Foods or the farmers' market?

There are two major components to every purchase we make: the facts and the image.

You can't change the facts. A product is a certain shape, size, color, weight and it will remain that shape, size, color and weight. There may be 100 other products with that same shape, size, color and weight. So, how do we choose?

Price probably has something to do with it, as does convenience. If one store or brand is easier for you to access, you may be drawn in a particular direction.

But, there is no denying that people are willing to pay a premium on one of two similar products (shoes, purses, perfume, food) based on the perception of a brand's quality or image. 

Take that apple, for instance. Pretend that same apple, from the same farm, is organic at all three stores. (For arguments' sake.) Now, say nearest store sells that apple for $0.30, Whole Foods for $0.45 and the farmers' market for $0.40. What is it about that organic apple that will make a person choose one of the two more expensive options? 

Image. The consumer who wants to shop local and finds joy in communicating directly with the farm will choose the market. The consumer who wants to make a statement about being healthy and supporting a pesticide-free world will choose Whole Foods. The consumer who looks at price and convenience and doesn't care about anything besides getting that apple into his/her hands will go to the nearest store.

We make choices in our lives based on image all the time. A consumer with $25,000 to spend on a car will have several options with regards to mileage, auto body shape and safety features, but chances are they will only select one or two brands and approach those dealerships.

There are several banks vying for our checking and savings accounts, all with similar fees and account options, all FDIC insured to protect our money, but one will have the advertising or account manager that ultimately wins our trust. It's not a difference of .01% interest that makes us decide, it is a feeling, an image.

Advertisers are banking on consumers making decisions based on image, and they are ready and willing to sell it to you. Copywriters make a living writing about the image of products with the ultimate goal to boost a company's sales. They know it's all in the wording and presentation.

Classified ads are no different. Do you want to rent a home that is "small" or "cozy?" Buy a couch that is "stained" or "shows light wear and tear?" Do you want to buy a car that is "old" or "a classic?"

Today, use your words to sell a product. 

writercize: Look around you for a normal, mundane product, such as an envelope or pen. Now sell it!

Alternatively, pick a luxury item such as a necklace, car or perfume, something with a good deal of competition at a similar price point, and sell it!

Click "read more" for writercize sample response about a pencil.
writercize sample response:

Aching to remember a time before computer crashes and eyestrain? Yearning for a reliable writing instrument that never runs out of ink?

Take a journey back to a time when a sharp point was just a quick twist away, mistakes could disappear with the swipe of a gummy pink eraser and a deep inhale brought the seductive scent of wood and graphite.

Get back the natural way to compose.

Next time you need to write, reach for a pencil.


  1. An interesting and fun exercise. I may try some of your writercizes after the A to Z Challenge is over. Thanks for some great ideas.

  2. Oh, and following, so I won't forget next week!

    1. Yay! Thanks for following, and I look forward to your visits once the challenge is over! April is a pretty insane month to get through it all, but I hope there are a few that stood out and will draw you back in for some good writercizing.

      See you back here soon! :)

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    So, there you have it! Day-Glo Index cards are a great accessory for notes and a handy tool for writers. Buy some today! Available at Staples.


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