Traffic sucks, but Boltra's messaging rules
This week, I leased an e-bike from a company called Boltra. $200 a month, no obligation, no fuss - easy. It arrived yesterday. Took it for a spin last night, and so far, so good.
But you probably don't care about that. This blogpost is to talk about Boltra's messaging. They've done a fantastic job of describing themselves, by using the right combination of features that describe what they do, and benefit statements that connect with people. Take a look at the main bit of their home page:
Let's break it down.
First, it starts off with a really high-level benefit - "be free." Sounds great! That doesn't mean much on its own, but it does a good job of setting the scene. Being free can mean pretty much anything you want, but I think everyone would like a bit more freedom in one way or the other.
Monthly e-bike subscriptions
Now that first statement needs some support to give it context. That's where features come in, with four words that describe exactly what Boltra does: monthly e-bike subscriptions. Cool. You really cannot get clearer than that.
What I particularly like about this treatment is that they've very clearly separated their features and benefits. It would be tempting to put some adjectives, or other descriptive words in that second line, but they've been ruthless, and used that line for exactly what it should be used for: telling a reader exactly what they sell. They've let the other lines do the heavy lifting of selling the benefits.
But the best bit is after that: "because traffic sucks."
This is a great benefit statement, because it gets right to the heart of why someone might want an e-bike. It's nothing to do with how powerful the motor is, how big the bike is, when they can deliver, or any of those other things. An e-bike, like every product, solves a specific problem. In this case, it solves the problem of Auckland traffic being an absolute nightmare.
By pitching themselves in this way, Boltra have managed to market themselves not just to people looking for e-bikes, but to anyone who is tired of sitting in Auckland traffic. This is a much wider audience than just people looking for e-bikes! I'm sure there's a big swathe of people who have not considered renting an e-bike, but who spend a lot of time thinking about how much of their life they are wasting sitting in traffic. "Traffic sucks" connects with these people, and introduces them to a novel solution to their problem.
When you're selling something, it's very easy to look at it in terms of the thing itself. How does it compare to its competition? What does it do day-to-day? But in many cases, your customers are not going to be looking at things in those terms. They're looking to solve a problem in their life. If you can quickly show how you help them do that, you'll be a cut above anyone who's focusing on product details instead. Boltra have managed to nail this in just three words - because everyone in Auckland can agree that traffic really, really sucks.
PS: Boltra have no idea I've written this, and I am (regrettably) paying full price for my e-bike lease.