Mixed Messages

Jenny Craig’s change in marketing message has been good. Instead of focusing on people reaching some sort of ideal weight or size, they have taken a page from SlimFast, encouraging customers to reach a goal that is appropriate for them. They use messages like “a size healthier” to get the point across. Valerie Bertinelli proclaims that she is now “size surfer girl”, which apparently pleases her, even if she isn’t “size Gidget”.

Bravo! More self-empowering products and services need to take the same stance. Let’s spend less time talking in terms of absolutes, comparing ourselves to ideals.

Wait a minute. What’s that at the end of those commercials? A price promotion to “lose 20 pounds for $20 (plus the cost of food)”?

Why send that mixed message? You spend most of your 30-second spot talking about how it’s all about getting to a size or weight that is good for the individual. Then you end it by saying that to do so, that same person has to lose at least 20 pounds. Huh?

If you want to run an introductory price, then go right ahead. I urge you to do so. But make it consistent with your message. Have potential customers “get started now for $20 (plus the cost of food).”

Unless it really is about those 20 pounds, in which case you need to change your message back.

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