How A Candle Brand Won Me Over in Ten Words

Blogging: Smells like common knowledge and humble opinions.

Key points:

  • Targeting a more niche audience means understanding their needs and experiences, which don’t always involve a hastily posted meme.
  • Customer relevance and relatable products can justify higher product prices.
  • If the copy is clever enough, it will incentivize customers more than a simple image.

As I mindlessly scrolled through Instagram, an ad caught my eye. Mind you, oftentimes I avoid Instagram ads due to their scammy nature. Almost 0% of products I’ve purchased on Instagram have been useful or legitimate. The algorithm knows me quite well, but continues to let me down. Not this time.

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The ad was for a candle, of all things. How could this brand possibly convince me to pay $25 for something I already have? Something I can get anywhere else for a fraction of the price? 

Here’s the thing though: it felt like it was meant for me.

“Quarter-life crisis / Smells like all panic and no disco.”

Absolute genius. Most Millennials immediately recall Panic! At the Disco and all the teen angst sentiment that follows. It reminded me of every time I screamed “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” or browsed Hot Topic for a t-shirt that pledged my allegiance to their cool, edgy band. 

I had to investigate further. Anecdote Candles had my undivided attention. I spent at least 30 minutes reading every single candle tagline. Each description unlocked powerful memories that felt so tailored to my life. Conveniently, their Millennial target audience share those experiences, too. 

“Mistletoe / Smells like a silent wingman.”

“Adulting / Smells like early nights and steady paychecks.”

This brand takes ten words max to elicit a visceral reaction of a distinct memory. They pack wit, authenticity, and emotion into a single header and subheader.

Anecdote Candle’s value proposition is “making fragrance a conversation piece”. Their expert blend of storytelling and quality scents justifies the albeit higher price of their candles. The appeal goes beyond a product that makes the room smell nice. It’s the sense of familiarity the customer gets from the candle scent, something that takes them back in time. It’s the scent that compels them to share a story-- hence, “a conversation piece”. 

Anecdote Candles found the perfect niche. Instead of haphazardly using memes that don’t land on social media, they took an approach that upholded the true meaning of “creative”. Clever wording aside, they utilized hyper-relevant experiences that Millennials instantly have a connection with.

After raving about the brand’s marketing skill, I actually received one of these candles as a gift, which I was worried about. I had such high expectations after my research.

Naturally, it is flawless and I can’t stop burning it. 

Another disclosure: I cannot remember the last time I subscribed to a company’s newsletter. I joined Anecdote Candle’s mailing list because I’ve entered some sort of professional-customer crossover experiment, where I observe their advertising tactics and get fun updates on new candles. 

What I learned from this experience:

This brand’s tactics are a testament to good, smart marketing. The essence of marketing revolves around the idea that people want to be understood. Using this tenet of human nature, companies turn people into customers by advertising products that fulfill our need to be known. Creatively implementing strategies to do so is often successful.

Moreover, implementing strategies that integrate the need to be understood and the desire to be delighted is how to win customers. It just so happens that Anecdote Candles has accomplished both.

"Reagan specializes in blending creativity with strategy in order to amplify brand voice and bolster brand reputation."
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