Logos, Ethos, and Pathos. What Is the Message of Your Product?

Some people are natural born salespeople. They know just the right things to say to paint the perfect word picture. Steve Jobs once said, “I want to put a ding in the universe.” Similarly, one of the creators of Skype said he wanted to, “be disruptive but in the goal of making th world a better place.” Both of these quotes accomplish a simple goal. They explain the authors purpose, show the morals of the speaker, and convey a strong emotion of motivation. Even better, these phrases sell a product without even mentioning the product. Who wouldn’t want to use Skype if it meant making the world a better place?

Being a salesperson isn’t a talent that you’re either born with or you’re not. Persuasive techniques can be practiced and mastered. Today, let’s look at three persuasive techniques that can help motivate your customers and give your product a voice. Logos, Ethos, and Pathos.

Logos, What Are the Purposes of Your Product?

First of all, I don’t mean your companies logo. Logos is a Greek that can be translated to mean ground, plea, opinion, expectation, and reason. Of the three modes of persuasion, I find that Logos is also the most straight forward. What is the logic behind your product? In other words, why do your customers need it? Will it make their lives easier? Will it make something better or more enjoyable? Is it a solutions to a specific problem or can it fix a variety of issues? The answer to some of these questions will help you find the purpose of your product.

Once you have your product’s purpose figured out, you then need to communicate it to your customers. You can do this subtly (No matter who you trust, we are here for you…hint, hint.) or straight forward (BUY OUR TOYS!). What’s most important is that your customers have a clear understanding of your product, how it will help them, and why they need it. Don’t let your product’s purpose drift in the limbo of confusion. Make sure the purpose is stated upfront, and straightforward. By the way, do you know about NinjaShop? It’s the easiest way to sell in WordPress.

Ethos, What Are the Ethics of Your Product?

We live in a era where people want to know where their products come from. It’s not enough to just know what the product is and what it does. Customers want to know your story. Where do you come from? How did you come up with your product. Who makes it? And, most importantly, how are they a part of it?

A great example of this is Tom’s shoes. “One for One” is a simple slogan that instantly conveys what the company ethics are as well. You buy a pair of shoes, they donate a pair of shoes. Simple, effective, and it lets their customers know that they are contributing to something beyond themselves. Even better, it humanizes the company. Throwing some pennies into another corporate machine is a very low motivator. Helping someone else, however, is something most people take pride in.

Now, I’m not saying that you need to go out and develop the next big marketing ploy, but find a way to share the morals of your product with them. This can be something as simple as having an “About the Artist” page in which you let the customers know your goals and aspirations. You could also tell them about your team. Something as simple as putting a face with the product makes the entire process more human and let’s your customers know they are not just buying a product. They are helping someone else make their dreams come true. (Insert that copyrighted Disney song here…You know the one.)

Pathos, What Emotions Are You Selling?

I know that sounds silly. How do you sell emotions? What that really means is, “What emotions are you connecting with your product?” Think about all of the commercials you see on any given day. The trick is not to just show the emotions, but to use them in combination to send a message.

Robert Plutchik, a psychologist from Columbia University, states that there are eight basic emotions: Fear, Anger, Sadness, Joy, Disgust, Surprise, Trust, and Anticipation. In combination, these emotions can be used to tell your viewers a story about your product.

Are you looking for a solution? Feeling afraid and frustrated by your currently problems? Trust our product and be surprised by the joy you will feel when those problems are solved!

How are things going? Going pretty good? Wouldn’t it be better if things were going great! Trust our product and be surprised by the joy you will feel! You only thought you were happy before!

Look at this sad puppy. Do you want this puppy to stay sad? Help us make this puppy happy!

You don’t have to be that blunt. In fact, I wouldn’t recommend it, but finding ways to show the emotions and solutions to your guest can go a long way. Presenting your product in a positive light will eventually make them associate your product with…well…positivity. A smiling face or a relaxed color scheme can go a long way to make someone happy.

Now that You Have the Parts, Put Them Together

Logos, Ethos, and Pathos are most effective when they are all used at the same time. An artist page can convey emotions through an image, detail the companies ethics in a short paragraph, and explain the reason for the product in a message statement to cover all modes of persuasion at the same time. Try some experimentation. Use Pathos, Logos, and Ethos in combination across your site and product pages. Not only will this help convince your customers of your product. It will also help your company and your product have a voice in the customers lives.

It may take a little practice, but using these persuasion techniques will help your customers remember your product and see the need of your company. Do you have some advertising or persuasion techniques that we haven’t mentions here? Be sure to share them in the comments below!

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About the Author

James McCluskey

James is an English teacher and content writer for WP Ninjas. His daily motivation is to constantly look for something new to learn. This has tragically turned him into a living encyclopedia of largely pointless information. When not teaching, writing, or learning, James is usually working with his wife, Megan, on fundraising and support for several nonprofit organizations. Excelsior!