The awkward audience

Hello, my name is Karen and I'm married to a typophile (see previous blog post)

If you just clicked on that link and read his blog, you understand. He's a little odd. 

Every day I get random messages from him. I've started saving them because I plan to read them back to him next time he's in the ED, passing a kidney stone...again. Pain, laughter, drugs and Jay...great blog fodder.

Here's a message I got last week. "Today I learned it's impossible to discreetly buy any meds that have to do with your butt. They always make a point of putting some variation of bowel, anus or rectum in the name."

Yep, he's a keeper...

But his message got me thinking about targeting your audience. When pharmaceutical companies come up with inspired names like Anusol and Rectinol, they really put themselves in the pants of their audience. Think about it...

People are buying these meds over the counter. They're usually self-serve items. The marketers aren't thinking about your pride when you hand that little package over to the cashier. Pride doesn't really exist in a pharmacy. Other people in the queue are holding tubes of wart cream or sticks of prescription strength deodorant. So actually, your awkward self fits right in.

And you're literally feeling every step you take. You need that Anusol and you really couldn't give a...err, I won't finish that sentence. But really, look at your purchase. You probably couldn't if you tried.

So whoever came up with the name is pretty smart. A product name that's descriptive, without witty double meanings and is easily identified by a very specific buyer, takes into account the audience's:

  • need I'd say it probably doesn't appear on many weekly shopping lists...definitely a single item purchase.
  • urgency – lets hope it's also positioned at eye level. No assistance required.
  • location – It's a pharmacy, this is where you can discreetly buy this kind of stuff. They don't do price checks over the loud speaker for exactly this reason. 
  • distractions little boxes neatly stacked row upon row, there's no eye catching merchandising in this aisle. Find it and leave.

It's only if you are buying for someone else, that Jay's 'lack of discretion' complaint is mildly relevant. 

So what you should name your product depends a lot on who your audience is, what they are feeling, where they are, and how quickly they need you.

I was warned this post might send people off on a hunt for awkward product  names...go for it, let us know what you found...