I recently went to IKEA to get a new bed.

On this trip, an IKEA employee disillusioned me.

This sounds harsher than it was, but applies to marketing for any business with a marketing approach which lasts longer than a single sales page and a „thanks for your money!“ email.

To understand what I mean, you have to know here in Germany, there are two ways to address somebody:

 One is „Du“, which is informal. You’ll say „Du“ to anybody in your family, friends and mostly anybody you meet in your free time.

The other one is „Sie“. This one’s much more formal than „Du“. You use it with strangers or superiors. People you’re a little distanced from.

Got that?


Many ads over here use the „Sie“.

Not IKEA. They use „Du“. Always. In every radio, TV, print and online ad.

It’s an integral part of any of their ads.

It ties very well into their shopping experience where all the „sample apartments“ look nice and cozy and make you want to sleep there.

I talked to an employee and she addressed me with „Sie“…

…which is totally out of touch with the way IKEA does marketing.

It really changed the experience for me, in some weird way. Of course I know it’s bullshit and this atmosphere of friendliness and everything’s nice and made just for you is manufactured to get us to buy more (which works).

But this atmosphere is still enjoyable.

It was like watching a magic show and seeing through one of the tricks.

The whole illusion crumbled.

Let’s be honest: This isn’t costing giant IKEA any business. I gladly go back there and buy stuff.

But if you apply this to your (or any other smaller) business, it can become an issue quickly.

If your copy resonates with them and they get on your email list, but then your emails are all off and in a different tone, they’ll just perceive you as one more talking head out for their money.

The easiest way to be authentic and not make people see through your persuasion would be just being yourself, writing in your own voice.

But a lot of the time, it’s not “you” writing. It’s your business or whoever is the face of your business.

The other (harder) way is to dive deep and apply what you learned in courses and books to develop a voice to fuel your long-term marketing approach and income stream.

(Secret third option and shameless plug: Or send me an email at kontakt@finnlobsien.de and let me do that for you).

Most other approaches crumble at some point.