Sell Ugly Products with These 5 Tips

Some ugly products like drill presses are just plain ugly: Others have obvious, but not necessarily performance disabling flaws (e.g. not exploding gas tanks). Worst of all the lookalike products that have little visible differentiation from their competition. We’ve handled them all. A few tips:

  1. Be honest and acknowledge your ugliness. Skip the lipstick, sell the pig. Consumers cherish honesty, and it will elevate your brand. If the bank CEO is ugly, either don’t use him in the ad, or make him own it.
  2. Don’t make ugly products the focal point of your ad. Use a smaller image and use the remaining space to dramatize the benefits of your product.
  3. Make your product part of something bigger. For example, fish sauce might be depicted with hungry and happy diners at a Sushi restaurant.
  4. Create strong images that visualize benefits. That’s what consumers are buying, and that’s what they will remember. What if hot dog manufacturers featured their ingredients in their ads? Yuck.
  5. Ask yourself what visual information prospects will remember quickly from seeing your web page. Associate your product with something bigger, e.g. do you remember Shaq, or a detailed image of his Nike kicks?

Turn ugly into an advantage. Just be honest, dramatize product benefits and not what it looks like. Associate it with other products and setting that are attractive. Reduce the size, and give your customers unforgettable visuals. And you’ll see the real beauty in your products and services.

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