Growth Marketing

Will You Help This Startup With Their Messaging… Before They Launch a Kickstarter Campaign?

kickstarter

[highlight]UPDATE: Noon is now called Nova, and they’ve launched on Kickstarter here[/highlight]

Back in April, lots o’ peeps participated in this post about ZapFlash, where we asked you to vote on a selection of value props for ZapFlash.

Well, ZapFlash took all your thoughts and opinions, changed things up…

…and now they need your help once more. See, they’re planning to launch a Kickstarter campaign, and – naturally – they’d like to have the strongest possible value prop when they pitch potential backers. So… got a sec to give your honest feedback on the top contenders for their USP?

Here, Once Again, Is Your Mission…
Should You Choose to Accept It

Noon on KickstarterZapFlash is now called Noon.

What Is Noon?
It’s a patented attachment for your iPhone that makes it about a billion times easier to take great photos – not crappy photos that look like you took them with your phone.

Who Wants Noon?
Noon is targeting college kids and parents who take photos with their iPhones.

As you know, we strongly recommend that startups use their USP or value proposition as their home page headline (+ subhead sometimes)…

Why? Because a USP quickly helps visitors understand what you offer that’s valuable to them. Kinduv important, right?

With our A/B tests – and with our unhealthy fixation on the geniuses at Marketing Experiments – we’ve found that the following 5 qualities shape the highest-performing value props:

1. UNIQUENESS – Are you the only ones making this claim?

2. DESIRABILITY – Does your target audience want what’s unique about you?

3. SPECIFICITY – Do you use real words – not air and fluff – in your value prop?

4. SUCCINCTNESS – Is your value prop only as long as it needs to be?

5. MEMORABILITY – Does the essence of the value prop stick with you?

Okay, so those are the 5 boxes that the Noon value prop – written as their home page headline + subhead – should tick. And so… let the judging begin.

Option A

Getting Ready for Kickstarter

Option B

Getting ready to launch on Kickstarter

Option C

Getting ready to launch on Kickstarter

And the Biggest Q of Them All:

Does Noon Interest YOU?

Finally, if you’re up for it, check out Noon’s site here. What do you need to know before you sign up for a notification? What’s off-putting about the setup to the call to action? Are you ready for it when you see it?

By answering these questions, you can see just how damn hard it is to move people closer to something as simple as clicking a button. If your call to action isn’t getting the clicks you want, what could you do differently? Is a weak value prop failing to intrigue your visitors? Or is the risk of clicking the button outweighing the reward of getting what’s on the other side?

If you’ve got more to add or you want to clarify, share it below! Oh, and as thanks for your help, the Noon team will be giving a Noon to a lucky commenter. (Noon to be shipped in Dec or Jan.)

~joanna

About the author

Joanna Wiebe

Joanna Wiebe - Copywriter and author of "Copy Hackers"

  • Mark @ Make Them Click

    Joanna,

    great to see they took all the previous comments on board. Not many companies do, so they should be commended for that. I was pretty harsh on their last attempt, so I have to give them props for that.

    The key thing that this exercise illustrates is just how hard it is to come up with a USP. The ones above are better, much better but they still aren’t great.

    But if they keep working at it now I’m sure they’ll come up with something great.

    As the folk over at MecLabs point out, very few companies manage to get even 4 points ticked off, let alone 5. If they get 3 they’re doing good.

    It will be interesting to see what they finally come up with.

  • Laura Payette

    I’m a parent who takes tons of iPhone photos of my kids; many of them are less than stellar, so this product intrigues me. However, like many of the other posts here, I didn’t quite understand what Noon was until I got to the third version of copy. Also, the copy about washed out photos of friends in dark bars only hits half of the target audience. As a parent, that copy doesn’t speak to me at all. Show me some before and after pics of cute kids. Just my $0.02.

  • Nick Marshall

    You don’t get washed out photos from lack of light – too much light does that. Option C was the best explanation of what Noon is/does. I love the name Noon. I wonder why the name has not been used to better effect to create something memorable. High Noon for dull pics.

  • Darcy

    None of these really stood out for me. Talking about beautiful pictures while the picture is grey on grey of the machine doesn’t connect emotionally with me. I’d prefer to see a gorgeous picture and words something like “Taken by an amateur with an iPhone” and subtitled “Easily look like a pro photographer with Noon.” The copy would then simply explain how the Noon simplifies all the complicated lighting issues, so all you have to do is point and shoot, and your pictures are lit up perfectly, whether in a dark bar or in front of a sunset.

    This theme could then be carrried through by showing different cool pics taken with the Noon. Noon competitions could be done for contests with people submitting their cool pics. The theme should center around the feeling people have when they take a great picture. This feeling is not coming through on any of the layouts I see here. Showing an awesome picture taken by an amateur would create a stronger emotional connection than the picture of the product. The current layout might appeal to an engineer, but I don’t think it will appeal to the regular iPhone user snapping photos of friends at bars or on vacation.

  • Momoko Price

    A few quick (hopefully helpful) notes to the Noon team from a fellow copy hacker/startup lover:

    1) Think carefully about the images you use to accompany your top-level copy. If you’re selling a wonderful reality in which gorgeous, memorable images are just a Noon away, do you really want the top level image to be … an iPhone with a (very elegant but otherwise unrecognizable) white pad beside it? If you’re selling the ability to create amazing images, show some amazing images!!!

    2) To be honest, the messaging that stuck with me the most wasn’t any of the options above, but this block from Noon’s website: http://cl.ly/image/1k212W0e1h1M -> it spoke to a realistic user persona & motivation that matched the value prop, ie: Noon helps design/aesthetically-inclined people (not necessarily shutterbugs) to amp their creativity easily and affordably. A similar value prop to Instagram, when you think about it, but from a hardware angle.

    That messaging worked for me in a way that I felt the Options didn’t. Option A, for example: Sure, ‘no more washed out photos of friends in dark bars”, but I don’t really associate the desire to make extra-nice photos with taking drunk pics at the bar. In other words, the *user motivation* reflected in the messaging isn’t realistic (at least to me).

    Personally, I think a great way to tap into that customer motivation for great pics on the fly is to focus on life situations where the desire to create beautiful photos on the fly is especially high: wedding receptions, vacations, baby pics, holiday pics, stuff like that …

    Just my $0.02! Good luck with the Kickstarter!

    M

    P.S. Can help but ask — why “Noon”? Logo looks great, but the first thing “Noon” made me think of were alarm clock apps … 🙂 Just curious!

  • Joanna Wiebe

    “you most definitely need a better demo image on the website. I mean,
    we’re talking photography here — you absolutely gotta have an arresting
    image. You defeat your whole proposition with a dull photo.”

    Amen! Great point. The visual design of the site seems to be not quite there yet —- it should probably be a lot more attractive if it’s going to sway creative types.

  • I notice Noon’s website is currently using Option C, which isn’t altogether surprising because it’s the most concrete description of the three choices you present.

    What all three are missing, however, is an inset of the image of the illuminated Noon that appears at the top of your post. I was a little surprised by commenters who suggested they didn’t know what Noon was or did because that image of the thing lit up made it pretty clear to me. Frankly I can’t see promoting Noon anywhere *without* that image. It clears things up pronto.

    Having said that, though, it isn’t obvious to me how many Kickstarter visitors will find this a compelling device. On the plus side, tech nerds dominate the site and are far more likely than average Internet users to find unconventional tech solutions attractive. On the minus side, Noon is a product whose advantages and drawbacks are obvious without even buying one, to wit:

    ADVANTAGES
    1) Provides an easy-to-carry on-the-spot photographic light source in any environment, no matter how dim
    2) According to the interesting dynamic before-and-after image on the Noon website Noon won’t wash out faces the way the iPhone’s built-in flash tends to do

    DRAWBACKS
    3) It’s one more thing to have to remember to bring along (not to mention to charge ahead of time) to help you take decent iPhone portrait photos
    4) Even if you’ve remembered to bring it along you’ll suddenly find yourself having to use two hands to take what would otherwise be a casual candid snapshot — unless Noon comes with a kickstand (which it doesn’t appear to) to allow you to set it on a table while you adjust your iPhone’s camera settings

    I’m guessing there are enough camera bugs trolling Kickstarter to give this product life — but that’s just my view from the cheap seats. Certainly if the Kickstarter page duplicates the points hit by the Noon website I think Kickstarter denizens will go for it. (Kickstarter visitors are a self-selecting group who are *much* more likely to dive into product details than average Internet users.)

    I just spent more time at the Noon website and noticed that Noon allows you to change the color of the light it generates … and that it supposedly lasts for 4 weeks between charges, both of which are fairly impressive features. One last drawback may be that it works only with the iPhone 4s and iPhone 5 — so zillions of hardcore Android users (known to be nerdier than iPhone users) will be out of luck.

    Still, my 2 cents says it’s a win.

    • Jaimie Walnes

      Thanks for this feedback, it is really helpful. Do you think if we had an image of Noon in a wallet, next to all the credit cards and other wallet items, people wouldn’t be so worried about having to remember to take it with them?

      Also if we showed someone using an iPhone and Noon to take a picture, do you think visitors to the site would see how easy it is to use?

      I’m going to beef up the ‘change the color of light’ section with example photos of what different colored light can do, to show that Noon has many advantages.

      Thanks again for the help, much appreciated.

      • Hi Jaime —

        About the image of Noon in a wallet, next to all the credit cards and other wallet items — I see your website already shows something similar. An additional image of Noon in a wallet couldn’t hurt … in fact, aren’t you doing a video? I have some experience with Kickstarter (I proofed a client’s Kickstarter copy and then, as a vote of confidence, pledged on his product: the Almond+ dual-band touch screen wireless router, which managed to reach triple its pledge goal) and it seems to me most Kickstarter pages kick off with a demo video, one that usually includes a heartfelt to-the-camera pitch by the product’s originator or originators.

        The video should obviously also cover someone using Noon to take a picture — from pulling it out of the wallet to snapping the shot to sharing the pix via, say, Facebook. And your video would also illustrate how easy it is to change the color of Noon’s light and to charge it — all the stuff you’re already covering on your web page.

        The one unknown about Noon as I think about it is whether it’s for the casual iPhone user who routinely takes fun snapshots or for serious amateur photographers who find themselves facing a photo op without their DSLR and are suddenly living the cliche “the best camera is the one you have with you.” My instincts tell me it’s the serious amateur photographers who will pledge for it on Kickstarter. But, again, that’s just another view from the cheap seats.

        Good luck!

        — Dick Hartzell

  • C works the best as it actually tells me clearly what your selling. The other ones didn’t feel quite as much to the point. Good luck with this. It definitely sounds interesting.

  • Cliff Brown

    I know this column is about word smithing, but my reaction to the ads was the graphics have got to change. The picture of back of the iPhone and the Noon are not interesting at all. I’d show the front of the iPhone with a really great picture displayed (showing what Noon is capable of). I think a good image with the line “great photos” somewhere in the copy would make the value prop much clearer.

  • AliH

    “No more washed out photos of your friends in dark bars” – good.
    “Making everyone shine” – gross.

  • midnight

    what’s that first photo dental records?

    • Jaimie Walnes

      All dental records will be duly deleted from the page – thanks for the feedback.

  • I preferred option C. But to be honest, I don’t care what it looks like. I thought it sounded pretty silly until I saw the “before” and “after” graphic on your website. That made the world of difference (for me).

    I feel this product is more about the benefit (awesome photos) vs the size (its small), or technical details (40 x led’s, 4 weeks life etc.).

    Good luck with it!

    • Joanna Wiebe

      It seems that the before/after image that’s currently down the page should make its way further up. It is, as you’re suggesting, Christian – and as a few others have suggested – a really helpful snapshot of what Noon does.

      • Jaimie Walnes

        Got it! The first photo will be of a hand holding Noon outside at dusk with the flash on, so it has context and meaning. The second photo will be the with and without Noon. Thanks Christian – cool feedback!

  • Ruben

    Here’s the combination that rings most with me:

    Line 1: No More Washed Out Photos of Your Friends in Dark Bars

    Line 2: Gets Rid of Shadows in the Day, Gives Natural Light at Night, for Pictures You Want to Keep

    Caption below image: Wireless Bluetooth = No Cables or Glued to Your iPhone

    Why I chose these: Line 1 is a story and creates a mental picture in your head. Even without the before/after (which would be great to have), we can all think of those pics that didn’t come out right. Even though I don’t party hardy any more, that scene reminded me of pics with my kids and their bdays. Line 2: Tells me what it does and what I get. Caption: replaces a picture demonstration of the thing

  • Melody Akins

    Noonerz…Please consider adding a form to your site that gives visitors who reeeeely, reallllly want NOON, but don’t have the money right now and have to save up for it, the chance to let you know (privately, separate from regular comments) to keep them in the loop…In other words, these folks would be high on your ‘nurture prospects’ list. And I’d like to be the first to fill out that form 🙂 Blessings to you guys!

    • Joanna Wiebe

      It’s interesting that you say that, Melody, because the only call to action Noon has is to sign up to get notified… but you wouldn’t necessarily know that because a) the call to action copy doesn’t clearly state that; b) the price of the [as yet not ready] Noon is above the button, perhaps suggesting that you’re going to pay on the next screen; and c) you have to click the button to see the form rather than simply entering your email on the home page itself and then clicking the button to sign up.

      Perhaps an idea for Noon is to tweak the copy + sign-up experience accordingly.

    • Jaimie Walnes

      How about “Coming soon at $59” and then “Tell me when Noon is ready” with a white box underneath it which clearly shows you need to enter your email address (on the homepage)? Would that work for you Melody?

      We desperately want to build a prospects list so we can tell people when the early bird discount is available (probably $53) and when Noon is ready to pre-order on Kickstarter. This has been the hardest thing to get right so far.

      Please do sign up and you’ll definitely be kept in the loop!

      Thanks for helping us with Noon.

  • Brittany White

    I liked the first option best. It gave just enough information to understand the basic concept of the device but left me wanting more information. Information that I will search for myself, making myself more aware of it and willing to share.

  • Hey I’ll throw my hat in the ring here … I liked the final option best, but I still think it didn’t tap into the “experience” enough. Like, why waste space showing me a picture of an iPhone, and your product? All I need to know is that it fits in my pocket, and what it can do for my pictures, so you should show ‘before and after’ shots.

    Also I’d use “studio ligthing” instead of “flash” — flashes suck, studio lights are the cure for flashes. Here’s what I’d do:

    http://glui.me/?i=e9zdh7pdrtqzyjs/2013-08-21_at_9.38_AM.png/

    EDIT: I’m not a designer, I realise this looks like shit 🙂 It’s just a concept. Also if you want to make great annotated images on OSX and share them via Dropbox check out @gluiapp

    • Joanna Wiebe

      Iain, your version of Noon turns girls into dudes! LOL! Kidding aside, I agree that the difference between “flash” and “studio lighting” might be important to amateur photogs and the sort of people who’d be early adopters of Noon (especially on Kickstarter).

      • I think that “flash” even to the layman sounds inherently shitty. Its like the brand “Salon Selectives”: Like you just stepped out of a salon. I feel like “studio lighting” conveys the same sense of quality:

        http://www.salonselectives.com/home.html

        Maybe something like “Take gorgeous magazine-quality photographs with your iPhone” would be less “photog-ish”.

        I also think the most important thing is to show before and after shots, rather than the product itself, especially next to the headline. If I love the outcome, I’ll go down the page to see more about what creates it.

      • Joanna Wiebe

        I have to say that I really like your wording here: “Pocket-sized studio lighting for your iPhone”.

        That sounds infinitely more desirable than “external wireless flash”.

  • Adam Morris

    Option A spoke to me the most as I can relate to that the most. My wife and I travel a lot and photos in bars and restaurants always turn out the worst, yet those are usually when we’re having the most memorable times and want to capture them!

    The price kind of threw me a bit, at this stage I still thought it was an app, the accessory didn’t really look like an accessory to me, thought it was a case or something at first glance. However, by Option C I worked it out.

    With Option A, if Noon was referred to as ‘the Noon’, I would have then made the connection that Noon was a ‘thing’ and not just a software app (in which case $59 seems like a rip)

    Option B Did zero for me. It was too long and too ‘HP/Sony/Panasonic’ sounding. I think ‘the’ Noon is cooler than those old Mum & Dad brands and I don’t need it spelled out for me. I’m smart enough to read between the lines and this copy doesn’t recognise that.

    Also, interestingly, when I read that the first THREE times, my brain didn’t even pick up the word ‘photo’ in the 3rd line. I remembered it as “Making your smartphone or tablet beautiful.” I had to go back and look again, I thought you had left something out. Maybe just my ADD brain? Maybe others experienced this, it’s very wordy.

    Option C was where I learned that I could carry it in my wallet and the little case thing next to it was ‘the’ Noon. ‘Fast’ and ‘slim’ are unnecessary, because it’s alongside an Apple product, I already assume these qualities of it. ‘Wireless’ helped it to make sense on how it worked but ‘easy to use’ was lame (sorry, bit harsh?).

    I would instead use ‘handheld flash’ or even rename the word ‘flash’ to something unique or ‘techy sounding’. It doesn’t look ‘hard to use’ so why try to create a hollow benefit just to fill space?

    Finally, ‘Noon’. Perhaps a tagline that tells me WHY it’s called Noon? I’m not a photographer, but my assumption was that it made all photos look as if they were taken at noon and noon is when there is the best light?

    I LOVE the look of this product though and really look forward to watching it develop. I can already see the campaign…

    “Selfies Will Never Be The Same…”
    “Turn Your Girlfriend Into a Model…”
    “The Ultimate Celebrity Stalker Accessory…”

    Best of luck with the launch, I’ll definitely be investing.

  • Cheryl Binnie

    Nice work! I think you’ll get a lot of bites on Kickstarter.

    One thing to consider — You’ll be speaking to your potential backers first, so they’ll probably constitute a lot of your site traffic. Do you want to speak to them on your site? Or which of your target demographics do you think is likely to find you via Kickstarter, and then check out your website? (https://www.quantcast.com/kickstarter.com/demographics)

    — Headline + Subhead comments:
    A is catchy, but makes me think it’s something like Instagram.

    B — I was immediately turned off by the all-caps sentence (and the length). But it was interesting once I read it. But still didn’t tell me what Noon is.

    C hit the most points for me, but I feel like the fact that it’s a flash is still buried by the adjectives. I’ll admit, my first time through these, I didn’t read them carefully (you can imagine people skimming through Kickstarter, too). At the end, I still wasn’t sure what it was (and the picture doesn’t help, since I had no idea what that flat, white thing was — until I read some of the other reader comments below. And then I still didn’t get that it wasn’t attached to your phone).

    And even if I did actually see + register “flash” while skimming, some people may not immediately associate the word “flash” with photography. So maybe something like:

    The wireless flash that makes your smartphone photos beautiful.
    Easy to use. Super slim. Way impressive.

    And the word “beautiful” may not get your college kids excited. Maybe play with different words? Stunning, shine, brilliant…

    The wireless flash that makes your smartphone photos like, “Wow.”
    Super simple. Super slim. Way fun.

    — Website comments:
    I like the new CTA (Tell me when Noon is ready) much more than the one on the site (Sign up for the first Noons) because the old one sounds like I’m already committing to paying at least $59.

    The CTA at the bottom of the page needs to let me know what I’m actually going to get when I click that button. Right now, it makes me think I’ll be taken to a Buy Now page. I may be more likely to click through if I know I’m not immediately agreeing to pay money.

    And I totally agree with Ramsay’s comments about the comparison list (I hadn’t realized that Noon is off-camera yet, either, so it took me second to figure it out). Would love to see a picture of it being used. Even if it’s just a hand holdin the iPhone aimed at the subject, with Noon off the side. Also really like Ramsay’s suggestions for the Section 2 copy.

    Non-copy comments: the color choices are a little confusing. If you stick with the orange, I’d like to see it show up more throughout the homepage. The big green photo looks like you’re totally changing the color pallet right away. And then we get black/gray backgrounds. The only place the orange shows up again is on the screenshots. Gimme some more cohesive colors, so it looks like it all belongs together. And then, if I’ve had predictable colors the whole way, that action color (the blue on the button) will stand out more.

    The sliding comparison photo thing is cool… but it makes it hard to compare them side-by-side. I’m also more likely to assume it’s Photoshopped if it looks like the exact same picture.

    But this is all (lengthy) feedback coming from someone who is now super interested in getting Noon. So you’re clearly already on the right track!

  • Travis

    I think you want to show how easy it is to use. The idea of pulling out my wallet, attaching something to my phone, then using a flash sounds complicated.

    As for the copy, I think I would combine some of the options. How about:
    “Take beautiful smartphone photos
    No more red eye. Unblur night photos. Make it like Noon”

    For option B, you may want to remove the gerund. Try “Get rid of daytime shadows*. Turn nighttime into noon. No more redeye.” I’d remove the “make everyone shine” because that suggests shiny faces, which aren’t flattering. (* = are daytime shadows really something people have an issue with?)

    I like the subhead on option A “take beautiful smartphone photos, with Noon”, but would remove the “with noon” to make it more brief.

    Outside the box suggestion, how about, “Take beautiful smartphone photos, like it’s Noon all the time. No more redeye. No more night blur. Carry the Noon sun in your wallet.”

  • Cori Chavez

    I like a mix between C and A:
    The first slim, wireless, easy to use flash for your iPhone
    Take beautiful photos… with Noon

    • Jaimie Walnes

      I really like this value prop ! Thank you so much for your help.

  • Would love to see an example of it being used with a short video. Or even more side by side photos would be helpful. Also giving more ideas of where people take photos besides bars would be helpful to think of other places I would use it.

    At first I also thought it was something that I would have to stick to the back of the phone. It’d be great to see an example of someone taking a photo while holding it.

    I vote for the headline of C with the descriptive headline of B. (I’d also love to test out the Noon with my iPhone 5.)

    • Jaimie Walnes

      The video for Noon is being shot this week. Over 50% of the shots will show people taking photos with the iPhone and Noon. I hope to have the video on the website within the next 2 weeks and would really appreciate it if you could tell me what you think of it.

  • Szilvi

    I’m also a mother who uses an iPhone to make photos (just to make things simple), but I also use it for food photography sometimes. When I eventually figured out what the hell is this gadget, my first thought was not my the kid but food pics: how neat pictures could I take with it. It seems it’s not a spontaneous act (college kids? parents?).
    Also, the colors at the top of the page put me off: there is nothing creative or mommy or college about it, too “techy”.
    In terms of USP version B made me want it the most, but it would help greatly to see how it’s used or the with/without photos.

  • Nipun Jethi

    @joannawiebe:disqus you guys keep creating great content and tools for conversion/copy… how about a site that does exactly this: community critique of split-test landing page design?

    • Love this idea! I’ll second that.

    • Joanna Wiebe

      Oy! The work never ends around here!!! 😉

  • I actually didn’t realize this was a flash at first. I’m not sure what I thought it was. It was the third USP that helped me realize it was a flash and since it was wireless it didn’t need to be attached. I think a photo of a person using it or getting results from it would help like they have on the website.

    Something like “When you take a photo with your phone do you want it to look like this… or like that…? And show me the difference. Then I would be really intrigued to find out why the photos looked so different.

    Then on their website they can show a person using this product. I’m still not sure exactly how I would use it. Do I hold the phone with one hand and then the flash with another? Do I put the flash on top of something to keep it facing towards the object while I take a photograph?

    Just one image of a person actually using this thing would do a whole lot to make it real that I too might use this thing.

    • Mark @ Make Them Click

      Oh is that what it is?

      I’ve been following this story since the previous post and this is the first time I’ve twigged that it is a Flash.

      Food for thought.

  • James Barron

    Its interesting that the first two options I voted on while being unclear on what Noon was exactly, in fact on option A I actually thought what’s that weird square and what has it got to do with this Noon app. Option C with mention of my wallet made it clear it was a hardware device and painted a good picture in mind however I still felt why would I want a wireless flash? I think the headline from option A and a sub head made up of option C would work the best for me. Something like No More Washed Out Photos of Your Friends in Dark Bars – Carry the first wireless flash in your wallet for great light.

    • Joanna Wiebe

      To add to James’s great point, it seems – based on everyone’s comments about confusion as to what Noon *is* – that the photo is begging for that classic combo of drawn arrow + handwritten copy that goes something like, “Meet Noon, the external flash you hold” or “Hold Noon in your hand when you snap a photo”.

      A message like that, of course, brings up questions around how you can hold the flash in one hand and take the photo in the other, but I think Jaimie’s copy will have to answer that any way. Hopefully the video does!

  • Kassia Gardner

    I don’t like B. As a parent who takes photos of her children with her iphone (and has essentially stopped using her digital camera) I’m part of the target market and option B is just a bit too technical – perhaps that’s for pros or semi-pros. I want to know, “Will it give me gorgeous photos of my girls I’m proud to share with friends and family and not show up I’m a crap photographer when it comes to lighting a photo?”

    C is OK but it seems to come from a style point of view rather than addressing my concern of helping me improve my photos. Personally I don’t like the word ‘transform’ it sounds a bit to corporate-speak and not how I speak. I want to improve, get better. Perhaps it should enhance my photos?

    I like A because I can see this appealing to college students.

    I’d prefer a different image, something less sterile perhaps with people in, or an example of the difference Noon makes.

  • Jody

    The product does interest me, however, the name change is puzzling. As a photo tool (as another poster mentioned) noon light is not the best time to take photos. I liked C the best and if B were reworded, it helps me understand the product better.

  • James Schutz

    Option B gets at the benefits the best, but I think it’s still too long. I know it’s a huge challenge to be both specific and succinct, but I think that should be the goal. And I agree with Triston that the wireless, getting creative with angles is a big benefit worth highlighting. I’m thinking pro or semi pro photographers would be a great market segment for Noon. There are lots of pro photographers that are very active on instagram and love using any creative advantage that make them stand out from the pack.

  • Ramsay Leimenstoll

    I like C much more than the others. B was specific, but only the subhead was specific and I couldn’t really remember any of the specifics after I read it because it was just one long sentence – if it’d been bullet points I bet I would’ve remembered it. I also REALLY didn’t want to read B’s subhead because it was above the headline – it was so much longer and wordier looking than the headline that I groaned inwardly and wanted to skip it. So I read the headline first (which was really vague to me) and then read the subhead – and it was nice that I got some specifics there, but they rolled together and didn’t stay in my head (as I said earlier in this comment).

    On the site – I agree with Kathryn that the photo isn’t warm or exciting. The gray, and the fact that Noon isn’t actually lighting up in the picture, made it seem less inviting, kinda dull. I thought that the second image was much more enticing, though it’d be nice to find a middle-ground where it’s glowing & looks warm but the iPhone is still in there for perspective and so we GET that it’s for an iPhone.

    Section 3 on the site: Not to get nit-picky, but the section header seems to run together a bit, and I think adding a comma between “Brilliantly lit” and “beautiful” would make it sound nicer when you read to yourself in your head. Also, and this is probably less important, I think grammatically it should be “built-in”, not “built in”. I could be wrong… but I don’t think I am 🙂

    More importantly for section 3, I hadn’t completely absorbed by the time I got there that it’s NOT a built-in flash. I definitely didn’t get why that was nice/important, either. So, beyond me missing out on what’s supposed to be a key differentiator (because the benefits of this feature weren’t clear to me), I also got confused by the two lists in section #3. I thought that the title for the 1st list, “Built in flash” was the first in a list of features for Noon, but then I started reading the list and everything was something bad! THEN, when I thought about it more (which I shouldn’t have to do), I realized that the goal of these two lists is to explain WHY the fact that it’s NOT a built-in flash is a good thing. But I’d started out reading the negatives and thinking that they were about the product… and it confused me and probably colored how I read the rest of it. I’d try changing that list’s title to something like “with just a built-in flash” or at least “With built-in flash” and maybe adding a “vs.” in between the two columns to make it clear IMMEDIATELY that it’s a comparison. Also, maybe try reversing the order? It depends if you want to start out with problems and follow up with relief vs. get people excited about something good and then point out that their current solution CAN’T get them there. Both strategies have their positive aspects, but just make sure you know why you’re choosing one and not the other.

    Addendum – Section 2: I realized, the section header here (“Wireless off-camera flash for truly amazing iPhone photos”) might be the missed opportunity to explain the benefit of the “wireless” feature. I think the idea of a wireless iPhone flash is totally new to most people – they haven’t been lamenting that they ONLY can use a flash attached to their iPhone – so they don’t know that having a wireless one will solve some problems; so they don’t know why “wireless” and “off-camera” have anything to do with the quality of the photos. The body copy for this section kind of explains it, but first you have to convince me to read that copy. Also, I think the phrasing of at least the 1st sentence of body copy is difficult to read. “Situated away from” is unusual structure/phrasing, and not in the “memorable” way Joanna often talks about. Can you put it more in laymen’s terms? And also, is it important that we know photographers have been doing it for a century? Not really. Start the sentence with the “so what?” we are looking for – something like, “Keeping your flash & camera together is what’s causing those washed-out faces and harsh shadows. Pro photographers know you need a flash that gets a different angle, but until Noon no one could never use this know-how to make iPhone photos better. With Noon (which is wireless), anyone can instantly up the quality of their photos by holding the credit-card-sized flash up when they snap their pictures.”

    Sorry for the long comment – I hope it’s useful and not all hogwash to ya.

    • Jaimie Walnes

      Thanks so much for taking the time to wright this – it’s exactly the help that I needed with the copy for Noon. I’m going to start on a new section for the website with this copy.

      • Ramsay Leimenstoll

        I’m glad you found it helpful! I’m currently in the last stretch of creating a new home page as well as creating a customer reviews page, and I’ve had a lot of people review the mockups recently – I guess it helped me get in the right mindset to give you some helpful comments! Best of luck writing the new section 🙂

  • Silverborn

    I liked C the best. It doesn’t specifically state the benefit of “making every smartphone photo beautiful” but at least it implies it. I didn’t like the head line on A at all. B was hard to read with the subhead being bolded instead of the head line. I think the subhead on C could be “transformed” to be more specific about the benefit of Noon helping to take great photos.

    Regarding the website. I’m not sure I understand how Noon works. At first I though it must attach to the camera but now I suspect you hand hold it as illustrated. I think a shot of it in use would help to clarify. (The text about “freeing the flash from the phone” just registered on a second reading – a picture would be clearer).

    Also, the slider illustrating the difference in results is great but at first it confused me. I thought the left side was the Noon version. Maybe flip them or bold the label to indicate which version is highlighted? Or just use two images?

    I suspect this will be very popular! Wonder if they can print the name or tag line in the center where there is no flash. Good Luck.

  • Cromulent

    I like Option B the best, because the bennies are stated explicitly. I need them to be explicit, because when it comes to photos I’m a moron.

    I get that the device needs to be shown separately from the iPhone in the pic, but wouldn’t it help if the ad shows the light, you know, actually *working*?

    I wonder if I could get good action shots of my son on the mound with the wife’s iPhone and this thing.

    • Joanna Wiebe

      The “bennies”! Love it.

  • tristonwallace

    They all miss some of the USPs for me: this is not an iphone flash that sticks on the phone, so you can be very creative with light. I love that idea: but feel most of the copy suggests its an iphone accessory (stuck to your phone). How will that work with a case?

    Still, interested and have signed up!

    • Lance Jones

      This was a point of confusion for me too, Triston — and it’s an important distinction for the Noon team to make in their copy.

      • Jaimie Walnes

        Lance and Tristan – you’ve hit on something that I’ve been struggling with when writing the copy for Noon. I thought that the words wireless and off camera were strong – but they’re not. Do you think the words external, bluetooth or separate would be better to describe that Noon is not an attachment or a plug-in flash for your iPhone? Thanks for your help.

      • Lance Jones

        Hi Jaimie — lots of great feedback and ideas here from Copy Hackers readers! I think ‘external’ and ‘separate’ are pretty clear (words people have heard before, versus ‘off camera’). I also believe, that because the idea of an external “add on” to an iPhone is so new, you need to use pictures wherever possible to accompany your copy. Words + supporting images = bulletproof communication.

      • Jaimie Walnes

        Got it. I’ve just taken a photo of someone taking a photo with their iPhone and Noon. Also the video, which will be shot on Thursday, has 15 scenes with people using their Noon. Furthermore, I have just briefed my graphic designer on an infographic that explains how the Noon communicates with the iPhone over Bluetooth.

  • Kathleen Staley

    I would state the benefit first then “transform your I phone photos with great light ” then the solution the first wireless flash for your phone. Then the picture under the sign up image needs to be first so you get a clearer idea what the product does . Wish it was this easy with my website 🙂

  • Kathryn Downing

    I have to chime in with design feedback. The name “noon” would make more sense if the design felt warmer and/or more sunny instead of gray. Also… the Noon people should get in touch with the people at Photojojo (http://photojojo.com/) and see if they can get a feature.

    • Jaimie Walnes

      Great tip! I will definitely contact Photojojo. Thank you.

  • Kate Lawler

    I prefer A & C, leaning more toward C. B is boring, and states the obvious. It’s a flash, of course it provides light! So the benefits listed in A & C make it more unique and appealing – especially in C, because it states is the FIRST (which automatically makes it unique).

    As for the website, the first thing that caught my eye was the flash on the phone, UNDER the CTA. I would move that image up to the top half next to the CTA so visitors can see what it is and what it does. The image that’s used for the CTA right now doesn’t SHOW what the product does, and the whole top area is overshadowed by the bright flash underneath.

    Other than that, I think the flow of the site and the rest of the information is great. And I really, really DO want one! 🙂

  • karaparlin

    Here’s a kind of unrelated comment, but one that may be important to consider. Noon sun is actually the worst natural lighting condition as it’s harsh and causes deep shadows. I know the company’s target audience isn’t experienced photographers, but I know a lot of people like me would be very interested in the product and would be put off by the name. Just wanted to point that out in case it wasn’t considered.

  • Pinky

    I’m not sure about the name, but it seems like a good product. I think C is the clearest in terms of specifying what the product IS, rather than A which mentions the benefits. I like Peter’s suggestions, other than the excess use of capitals. Sorry!

  • Peter Michaels

    I’d split-test B & C but I’d reword ’em both.

    Try:

    Get natural light 24/7, eliminate shadows, say bye-bye to red-eye…
    Noon Makes Your Smartphone And Tablet Photos Shine

    And:

    The First Wallet-Sized, Wireless, Easy to Use Flash For Your iPhone
    Transform your photos with great light, no matter how late it is…

    Good luck with the test, Noon sounds great!

    Pete

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