Is Your Comparator Horsepower Or Minicupcakes

I ran a jovial meeting with a sailing-loving prospect once in the late 90s. Where I revelled in comparing the extra money my then software wonder would make the business owner after they’d bought it. At the end of year one, amounting to around “two-thirds of a yacht”.

It is an excellent tactic to refer the time or money gained or saved to some made-up standard about which a winning picture stays in the prospect mind’s eye.

The classic example is the industrial revolutionaries double-genius of not only inventing the steam engine, but then selling it quoting an equivalent horse-power.

I’ve blogged on this before.

And it springs into the selling psyche this week courtesy of a pr backfire from Google.

Specifically, their Maps app liked to tell you how many calories you’ll burn on a particular walking route you’ve looked at directions for. Nothing especially dodgy with that, you may think. After all, it seems a pretty standard extra feature of similar apps these days.

Their mess-up was rather in how they presented this data to the would-be pedestrian.

The chosen standard was a mini-cupcake.

The emoji pictured at the top of this post would appear, beside which you’d see your potential calorie usage number, followed by how many cupcakes this would enable you to then eat for the same value of energy.

Unsurprisingly, the internet was not happy.

For many reasons.

Within moments, the Do No Evil beast beat a hasty retreat.

Not before the web’s opinion-leaders enjoyed their field day mocking Google ineptitude and general lack of consideration. Such as buzzfeed and the verge.

Still, hopping off the outrage bus for a breather, there remains a good selling meme here.

The more you can frame the benefits (value, cash, time) you unleash in an interesting way – one both meaningful to the prospect and helps set you apart from competition – then you are truly on to a winner.

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