User Manuals are Important Marketing Tools
How often have you purchased a product where all the elements prior to the sale were noticeably fabulously designed? The brochure, catalog and packaging made you want—even need—the product! Once you opened the box, however, the user guide was dull and confusing. It makes you wonder—doesn’t the user guide deserve its fair share of attention? Doesn’t it still serve a marketing function?
The answer to the consumer is a resounding, YES! Arguably, the user guide deserves equal, if not more attention than the other materials. The user guide is the first line in a consumer’s user experience of a product. How a consumer feels about the product itself is very much so linked to the ease of using its features. The point is—a well-designed user guide is a crucial marketing tool to help existing customers cultivate brand faith and loyalty. It further retains and enlarges the user base for the entire line of products under the same brand.
Apple, Inc. is a great example. Their products are widely known for a perfected user experience. But, that refined user experience is not solely built on presale marketing. Apple is also known for leading the way in providing first class user guides that are as sleekly designed as each of their products. Apple, Inc. understands that everything contained in their product package matters, and can influence how their users think of them.
Many companies are reluctant to invest their resources in the development of user guides simply because it does not attract new customers. However, customer retention should be a top concern. In today’s age of intensified advertising competition, a great user guide can be the key difference that distinguishes a product from its competitors. The result is creating a loyal and passionate customer who could easily influence friends and family, which DO attract new customers and bring in new sales.
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