The Clean Bathroom Approach to Online Persuasion

Blue broken ceramic tiles

In a restaurant, clean bathrooms portend clean kitchens, or so says the cliché.

Regardless of how reasonable it is or isn’t, we instinctively attempt to confirm a “brand promise” of attention to detail in the kitchen by looking for evidence of it throughout the rest of the restaurant.

We believe in internal consistency – a belief that’s hardly limited to restaurants.

Clean Bathrooms and Your Website’s UVP

“where should the Unique Value Proposition go on my Website?”

People often ask me that, and – with the clean bathroom theory firmly in mind – I usually reply with a question of my own: “where does the chorus or refrain go in a song?”

Sometimes it comes off as a bit of a non-sequitur, but a little guided discovery quickly establishes the following points about song refrains:

  1. The refrain carries the theme of the song.  Even when you can’t remember the name of the song, you’ll usually recall the refrain, because that’s the heart of the song
  2. The rest of the song fleshes out, substantiates, and supports the refrain.  The stanzas and the refrain are intimately connected.
  3. The refrain is repeated over and over, and in the best songs, each repetition gains meaning and emotional weight from the stanzas that preceded it.

To see how this works online, simply substitute “UVP” for “refrain” and “Website” for “song” and here’s what you get:

  1. The UVP carries the theme of the Website.  In other words the reason visitors would want to do business with you should lie at the heart of your online messaging.  If it’s not, you’re spending too much time talking about what you want to talk about rather than what’s important to the customer.
  2. The rest of the Website should flesh out, substantiate, and support your UVP.  People will look to see if you back-up what you claim. If the rest of your site doesn’t jibe with the UVP, you’ll lose credibility and, ultimately, lose the sale.
  3. The UVP is repeated over and over (though not verbatim or in entirety) from different angles or perspectives, such that the claims and promises gain weight, credibility, and emotional resonance with each click or page.

The Bottom Line:

Treating your UVP as a song refrain helps to insure internal consistency

It forces you to check your own site for clean bathrooms.  So when visitors look to corroborate your claims by cross referencing the various elements and pages of your Website, they’ll become increasingly reassured and confident with each click.

For example, if you are a local contractor specializing in completing basement renovations and garage enclosures in half the time of traditional contractors, your Web visitors will expect to see your claimed specialty and value proposition reflected in your:

  • prior work history,
  • qualifications/certifications
  • gallery of projects,
  • guarantees,
  • testimonials, etc.

If each of those elements speaks to your specialized focus and your half-the-time claims, you’ll win a lot more leads.  If they don’t support your UVP, your visitors will likely go elsewhere for their renovations.

Also, if you claim to only hire the best, expect a fair amount of prospective customers clicking through your employment pages to see what your REAL standards of employment are. And you better have “clean bathrooms” because this ain’t theory, I’ve sat and watched visitors do exactly that via analytics and services such as Click Tales, OnTarget, and Tea Leaf.

This article was written by my brilliant partner, Jeff Sexton.

Morty Silber, CEO

Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner