Being Remarkable: How even a dull ink cartridge can win you business

Marketing wizard Jeremy Epstein is always banging on about how important it is to be remarkable. If you want your message to stand out in our frenetic digital age, says Jeremy, you’d better be remarkable. And he’s right, as usual. Being remarkable means people will notice what you’re doing, maybe pause for a moment, and hopefully engage with what you have to say or sell. The best bit though is that remarkability can come in almost any form: your email signature, your business card, the way you describe your work…

Here’s something remarkable that was sent to me today. It’s a simple product page on an ink cartridge reseller’s web site. But, for once, the person responsible for describing the ink cartridge has done something different, something remarkable, that made me stop and think for just a moment:

Remarkable ink cartridge copy
[click image to enlarge]

Now, whether this is an intentional act of remarkability or the rebellious action of a frustrated (if slightly illiterate) web designer is not known. But there’s something wondrous about what have done here. Yes, we all know that ink cartridges are boring and no sane person is interested in reading any more about them than is absolutely necessary to help them buy the right item to feed their printer. And that’s why I can instantly empathise with the writer of this copy, experience a momentary sense camaraderie, and—here’s the important bit —feel slightly warmer to this reseller’s web site than the dozens of other similar retailers vying for my business. This reseller will get more traffic from the contents of this page than they will from months of expensive advertising.

And that, in a nutshell, is the power of remarkability. So good, I even wrote about it on my blog to spread the word.

So, come on, what’s your next act of remarkability?

Accessibility addendum: Here’s the full product description on the web page, complete with original typos:

“Remanufactured HP 300. Contains 8ml of high quality pigment ink and will print 380 … Do you know what? I really can’t be bothered with writing these description anymore, it’s a printer cartridge! What am I supposed to write really??? It’s a cartridge that prints ink on to paper, you could print some work stuff or a colouring in page for the kids that they’ll half do and then leave laying around on the floor or a poster of the horrible Jonas Bothers for your teen daughter hoping that she might stop listening to there pathetic attempt of music so much. There good quality cartridges I’ll admit that, every time I’ve sneakily took some home with me they’ve worked perfectly, but the thing that’s doing my head in now is writing about them day in and day out with the boss giving me an impossible deadline to finish them all by which means I can’t even sit at my desk pretending to work like I know most people do in this place. My advice to you is if you’ve got to this page then you probably need a cartridge, or you have a weird fetish for ink cartridges, either way it’s a ink cartridge, it works perfectly, so if you want one buy one, if you don’t then why havn’t you left this page allready?

Signed: The guy who writes the boring everyday mundane descriptions about printer cartridges everyday.”