“Would you like fries this that?” is one of the most recognized phrases in marketing today.
Not only did it increase the sales at fast food outlets by millions of dollars, it became a humorous phrase to suggest that you might want more. Perhaps even more than you should expect.
Being able to write articles, stories and advertising copy to sell services and product is a highly developed skill, and is the subject of many courses and training workshops. Since writing good sales copy is not easy to learn, some fascinating computer based models have arisen, based on the likelihood of certain words and phrases to persuade us to buy.
Many lists are published of the most valued or effective words in marketing copy and headlines. After fifty years in retail, I don’t see that they have changed very much, although the ranking of individual words may move up or down.
The twelve words recognized as being of particular value are:
It is interesting this is the list given to me over thirty years ago – as part of a training kit on marketing. These 14 words are also in the list of 20 words in the article below. (you do know it’s not my job to reinvent the wheel. )
Many of the words listed are highly relevant to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1) in his four core categories: esteem, friendship and love, security and physical needs.
He later expanded to five categories, and today we accept the categories can overlap. This follows the modern view that individuals will move up the pyramid of needs when the previous one is largely satisfied.
Emotional Marketing Value
Headlines for advertisements are carefully rated for their intellectual, emotional and spiritual appeal with an emphasis on getting a balance of Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) Words. To put that in perspective, the English language contains approximately 20% EMV words.
And for comparison, most professional copywriters’ headlines will have 30%-40% EMV Words in their headlines, while the most gifted copywriters will have 50%-75% EMV words in headlines. (Quote: Advanced Marketing Institute, see their link below).
So how well does “Would you like fries with that?” fare, when measured for EMV words?
It rates at 16.67%
A rating that any self-respecting marketer would reject outright!
Behind this outstanding success lie many of the 12 most effective words – albeit unspoken.
While there is philosophical debate about the validity of Maslow’s research, there is no debate that appealing to the basic physiological need for food is highly profitable. Delivering that satisfaction of need within the emotional framework of many of the 12 most effective words is what created success.
Food that comes quick, easy and at a low cost is hard to resist. Having made the decision to buy, it is very easy to decide to buy a little more – when the additional cost is minimal. Initially, fries were an “add on extra”.
The unlearned lesson for small business.
Do you know less than 18 businesses in every 1,000 actively offer customers an additional purchase, at the time of the first buy? How often do you ask your customers “Would you like fries with that?”
Remember, initially fries were an “add on extra”. Today, a hamburger and a drink without fries, is almost unthinkable. They have become part of the package.
You might feel uncomfortable asking “Would you like fries with that?” Maybe what you need is a better package. For more profit!
(1) Illustration sourced from Wikipedia More on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
(2) The top 20 words you need to know include the 12 listed in this article. Most Powerful words in advertising
(3) Feel free to play around with some headlines here Headline Analyser
We receive no financial incentives from the sites mentioned in this article.
About Lesley Dewar
(c) Lesley Dewar is a well known blogger and workshop facilitator who writes regularly on Social Media, marketing and customer service in the category of Stories My Nana Tells – Nana’s Blog – BizTips
For small business, this is a helpful article for those on Facebook Never list yourself as Self-Employed on Facebook
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