From the October 2000 issue of Entrepreneur

Imagine trying to sell a Monet masterpiece by first touting the frame around the painting . . . or extolling a luxury car by first promoting its glove box. It sounds a little daft, but I'm exaggerating to make a point: Some companies still trumpet the supporting advantages of their product before the big benefit.

That's what I point out to Patty and Ed Lonsbary of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. The Lonsbarys run Private Motor Coach Inc., a service that charters its custom-outfitted bus for luxury travel, both personal and corporate. While the slogan they currently use to head their brochure-"Anywhere, Any time"-gets attention and deserves play, it's not catchy enough to be the first thing prospects will notice.

My suggestion for the brochure's heading is, "Travel Like A Rock Star." This would be followed by a subhead that explains, "Tour in the unique luxury of a fully customized motor coach . . . any time, anywhere." After all, the Lonsbarys are selling their bus as a kingly alternative to typical four-wheel travel. They've renovated the interior with couches, a bedroom, a bath, a shower, a kitchen and a lounge. The fact that you're able to travel in it "anywhere, any time" is a side benefit that most would consider a given anyway.

The unexpected headline will draw attention and at least get prospects to open the brochure. As with a store, if you can't draw them inside, they remain passersby and lost opportunities.


Before

This cover does catch the eye, but the big benefit of choosing this kind of travel is missing.

The headline offers a secondary benefit instead of the primary one.

It's a good subhead, but a "you" message instead of a "we/our" message would be more involving.




After

Here's a headline that immediately conveys how unique this form of travel can be.

The subhead fulfills the headline's promise, while also including the company's current slogan.

This cover keeps the same photo but grabs you with an unexpected headline.



Jerry Fisher is a freelance advertising copywriter in the San Francisco Bay area and author of Creating Successful Small Business Advertising (available through Bookmasters, 800-247-6553). If you'd like Jerry to consider your materials for a makeover in this column, write to him c/o Entrepreneur or e-mail him at jerry228@aol.com.


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