If Innocent wrote technical copy

Can technical copy ever be “fun”?

Innocent Smoothies have set a trend in the digital marketing age with their “quirky” approach to copy. An ever-so-friendly tone of voice, coupled with enthusiastic social media management has been surprisingly successful.

And when something proves to be acceptable, hundreds of imitators spring up overnight.

The problem is that “chummy” text isn’t suitable for every industry. In fact, over friendly copy is thoroughly unsuitable for most industries – especially in the B2B marketplace.

Don’t believe me? This is what would happen if Innocent-style “wackaging” technical copy were used to sell HP blade servers:


HP BladeSystem — BL460c Carrier-Grade Server

This blade may be sharp, but it won’t cut you. Sweet! Picture of HP BL-460c server with accompanying Innocent-style technical copy

Loads of computery bits, to do loads of computery stuff in a small metal box. The BL460c BladeSystem has been built so you can chop-n-change servers to meet your growing data needs.

  • it comes in black to match your outfit.
  • shiny lights to show just how hard your blade server is working.
  • Intel Xeon processors for unpronounceably fast processing.
  • an increased DIMM count so you can DIMM more, faster.

 

Sounds pretty dumb. So could “wackaging” copy be used to sell an even more expensive IBM mainframe?

 


IBM System Z10 Enterprise Class mainframe server

a picture of an IBM z-10 mainframe with associated Innocent-style technical copy

How do you crunch big numbers quickly? With a mainframe of course!

No, it’s not for framing numbers, but for big computing loads. Like seriously big. Crunch, crunch, crunch!

And it’s also super secure, to keep your bosses and customers happy and safe. No more nasty lawsuits for you.

  • hot and heavy, more bang for your buck.
  • up to 1520GB processor memory for speedy calculations.
  • all this in a 30 square foot unit!

 


 

Innocent-style copy is (thankfully) reserved for B2C products and services. More importantly, a friendly, humorous tone of voice seems to work best for lower-value products (even if Innocent are at the upper end of the fruit juice market).

Even in the B2B market, emotion is more important than logic or reason when making a purchasing decision. But when spending tens of thousands of pounds, cheesy humour is unlikely to be the emotional trigger IT executives are looking for.

Instead they have a wish list, technical specifications that their chosen solution must meet. They need to know that your products meet those specs. And more importantly, they need to be able to email them to decision makers further up the decision-making chain. Engage with their emotions, but don’t humiliate them in front of their boss with poor jokes and over-friendly copy.

The Innocent approach to copy is very, very niche. So niche that I wouldn’t recommend any of my clients use it. Ever.

Need help with writing technical copy that doesn’t make your brand look silly? Drop me a line.

 

Images and trademarks remain the property of their respective owners.

Written by Ben Lloyd


Ben Lloyd has worked in the IT industry since 1996, covering a number of roles from helpdesk support to network management and everything in between. Tech Write is built on this experience, offering outstanding technical copywriting services to agencies and clients across the world.

2 comments to If Innocent wrote technical copy

  • Ben Lawton  says:

    Ben,

    Great post. Agreed that for higher-end products/services, especially in B2B, being overly quirky is ridiculous.

    I don’t think it means the copy needs to be dull and boring, however.(Just look at the copy on some of these companies’ “our story” pages.)

    There’s still room for speaking like a real human being.

    • Ben Lloyd  says:

      I think you’re quite right Ben, there is certainly room for personality in brand copy, and that it need not be bland either. Perhaps there could be a split between product pages, and those introducing the company.

      Although I would still avoid Innocent-style copy for an enterprise-grade technology brand!

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