5 real-life examples of “Big Ideas” that built huge businesses

Yesterday I told you that we’d be discussing how to use Big Ideas in your copy this week.

There are 4 critical things you should know about Big Ideas:

  1. Big Ideas help you sell more products.
  2. Big Ideas are almost always more important than the actual copy you write.
  3. Big Ideas focus on one attractive benefit that’s easy-to-understand.
  4. Big Ideas aren’t always easy to figure out, but I have a simple 80/20 system you can use (explained tomorrow) to help you get close to finding your’s.

    Before we do anything, we obviously need to understand clearly what Big Ideas are.

    Instead of trying to explain what the Big Idea is, it’s easier if I show you Big Ideas in action.

    So let’s dig right into some examples:

Example 1: Schlitz beer

This is one of the most classic examples of a Big Idea transforming a business.

Every beer company’s ads were the same but copywriter Claude Hopkins realized Schlitz could focus on "purity". Interestingly, all other beer companies used a similar process to ensure purity. Hopkins was just the first to mention it.

The copy was totally normal and average, but the "purity" Big Idea launched Schlitz to number 1.

Big Idea: Purity

Example 2: Ramit Sethi (I Will Teach You To Be Rich)

Ramit Sethi had an existing business, and it was doing ok, but he focused mostly on how to save money and invest, which credit cards to use, and so on – the typical financial advice. (He literally wrote a book on it.) These were all things his competitors talked about too.

Then he stumbled on the Big Idea of developing your own "rich life", which still involved saving, but also involved spending extravagantly on the things you love and saving specifically for those things. His platform has since blown up – including a Netflix show.

Big Idea: Design your Rich Life and save for that

Example 3: BluBlockers

BluBlockers took over the world in the 1990s and late 2000s – and they were the product of copywriter Joe Sugarman. He could have just said, "Here’s a cool new style of sunglasses." That’s what most brands do.

Instead his Big Idea was a "Vision Breakthrough" or, "Here’s a pair of glasses that give you superpowers out in the sun by blocking blue light." This was not a popular idea at the time (but you hear about it everywhere now).

Big idea: These glasses give you superpowers

Example 4: Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil

Most olive oil producers advertise their superior flavors and the quality of their ingredients. Copywriter Gary Bencivenga saw that while they sometimes mentioned "freshness", they never backed it up.

His Big Idea? Making it clear that his readers had never actually tasted real, fresh olive oil. It’s almost a challenge to this readers – "well, I might as well buy a bottle of this to see what real, fresh olive oil tastes like."

Big Idea: Fresh olive oil is rare but tastes better

Example 5: CopyHour

I thought I’d throw this one in since everyone on this list is already familiar with it. Most other courses on copywriting say they’ll teach you how to write "winning sales copy". And, to be honest, I went with that with CopyHour for a long time (while emphasizing it’s done through handwriting) – but then sales started dipping (the market got used to that Big Idea) so I needed something new.

The new Big Idea? Hard-wire the language & patterns of six and seven figure copy into your brain through handwriting over 90 days. This new Big Idea has been a significant boost to the business (and it’s a 100% true statement – it’s just a more tangible way to describe what the course has always done).

Big Idea: Hard-wire six and seven figure copy into your brain

As you can see from the above examples, the Big Idea is generally the real "power mover" in your copy.

Having one super sexy benefit that your competition doesn’t have (or doesn’t seem to have) is all it takes for most people to want to buy your products.

The rest of your copy is just there to push them over the edge.
You’ll make a lot more from everything you write when you get this right, and your copy doesn’t even have to be better than ‘average’.

So now that you get it, I’ll show you how I come up with Big Ideas for my copy. It’s actually pretty easy and you might have already spotted part of the trick in the examples above.

That’ll be coming tomorrow so stay tuned!

  • Derek