Last March, the publisher of the well-known self-help brand, dummies, asked Kenyon Hoag to produce a media kit for its new sales team. The publisher was looking for quick sales.
The dummies brand made its debut in 1991 with a book entitled, DOS For Dummies. By explaining difficult concepts in a simple, non-intimidating manner, the dummies brand became instantly popular, and a series of books followed. By the time we got involved, the brand had a new owner, a new sales team, a new website, and a new, updated graphic identity.
Not content with simply selling dummies books retail, the new publisher developed ways to leverage the franchise using content that aligned with customer’s goals. For example, using dummies to explain cloud computing is a perfect segue to positioning a cloud network provider as a go-to source for cloud-based products
But, dummies needed to simplify its own new product offering. The old sales materials consisted of a mishmash of messages, taking the approach of throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks. This approach does not effectively communicate.
To be effective, the media kit needed to be simplified and the information properly organized. It also needed to be attractive. And, of course, it was needed in a hurry. Probably the biggest challenge was establishing a simple, non-threatening sales message; in other words, we took the dummies approach.
Here’s what we did: First, we established the unique value proposition that differentiated dummies from every other self-help brand, Learning made easy, as a prominent subhead message.
The New Media Kit:
Step-by-step, the benefits of the new dummies were presented.
Up front on page two, we presented why the brand was so effective: Trust, Timing and Proof. People use dummies when they are motivated to find an answer – a perfect time for sponsors to present their brand.
Who uses dummies? This information was gently laid out in a sparse, easy to read design, so potential buyers effectively absorb the information presented.
The promotional opportunities were also organized and presented in a simplified manner, traditional ads, custom content, digital product and brand licensing.
This media kit was intended to start the conversation – to engage potential buyers in a manner to interest them in going further.
The ability to manage and present a large collection of information so that it is accessible and easily understood by users is important for proper communication. Also known as the practice of Information Design, it is vital to successful marketing campaigns. Because our world is more and more visual, any effective marketing campaigns must address the need for proper information design. Think of creating a design to effectively deliver information not by adding every piece possible, but rather taking away information and leaving only the most important. Success is achieved by delivery, by effectively having people grasp and understand the information, not by overwhelming them with quantity.
Is your product or service complex? Do you need help sorting it out and creating an engaging and memorable message? Contact me; I’ll give you a straightforward evaluation based on considerable experience.
New web capabilities make it after and easier to quickly build beautiful microsite. Want an example? Check this out: