Sunday, May 29, 2011

Groupon Proves People DO Read Copy

+ Am article on Groupon in the NYTimes today.
Groupon has nothing so special. It offers discounts on products and services, something that Internet start-up companies have tried to develop as a business model many times before, with minimal success. Groupon’s breakthrough sprang not just from the deals but from an ingredient that was both unlikely and ephemeral: words.

Words are not much valued on the Internet, perhaps because it features so many of them. Newspapers and magazines might have gained vast new audiences online but still can’t recoup the costs from their Web operations of producing the material.

Groupon borrowed some tools and terms from journalism, softened the traditional heavy hand of advertising, added some banter and attitude and married the result to a discounted deal. It has managed, at least for the moment, to make words pay.
Personally, I got sick of the blathery style of Groupon and their punny, "look how weird we can be" type of writing, but to the point of this's working. It's one of the reasons why Groupon succeeds over LivingSocial or any of the many other group deal sites. It's the same thing for the success of Daily Candy, who also received many props for its writing style years prior. Allowing for the personality of your brand to come through is important, and something most branded emails are missing. They want to scream about offers, but both these examples are proof you don't have to do it in a dull and boring way.

How can you take the learnings from this and apply it to your brand?

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