Message & Media: The Kit Factor
One of my favorites on the list is the Reames Hearty Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup Kit with "Everything you need included … Just add water!" Packaged in a box and found in the freezer case, this soup separates itself from all the other chicken noodle soups found in cans and foil envelopes on the soup aisle. The difference? It's a kit! I didn't check the price, but it wouldn't surprise me if it costs more than competitive products. And why not? It's a complete kit. And a brilliant marketing idea.
Almost everything I know about the power of the word kit, I learned from one of my first B-to-B direct marketing mentors, Earl Hogan. Our agency's assignment from the client Labconco was to beat the control and generate more leads. The lead generation offer that the fume hood manufacturer had been using in its space ads and direct mail is one still favored by oh-so-many industrial/commercial marketers—free information. It's boring, generic and promises only that it's free. The fulfillment piece was a catalog. You could count on one hand the number of leads that were generated with this offer each time it ran in a space ad.
By taking the same catalog, adding a comparison checklist of the four top fume hood manufacturers and a strong sales letter, we created the FREE "How to Choose the Right Fume Hood" Kit. The results in the mail and space advertising increased dramatically. In fact, the increase was so dramatic, I'm not going to reveal it. You might not believe me.
Looking back, I realize the game-changing success of this offer was actually quite simple. It was based on the direct marketing best practice of focusing on benefits, not features. The name of the kit promised a benefit, then the fulfillment kit delivered on the promise. It provided value and helpful advice which positioned Labconco as the best source for the best problem-solving product.