Copywriting: Finding Your Big Idea

How to Sell Your Brand’s Story

Imagine that you’re at a bookstore. You’ve spent a while picking out what book you want to buy, and you’ve finally narrowed it down to two options. You decide that the tie-breaker will be the first sentence; the opening line that interests you the most will determine which book deserves your time and money. 

You open the first book to read: “Once upon a time…”. 

You close the book and decide to buy the second one instead. You haven’t read the first line, but you know it can’t be as cliché as what you just read. 

The way you hook your readers in with a piece of copy is very similar to how a book sells its story through its first line. When you write copy, you’re writing the story of the product or service you’re trying to sell. Readers will not resonate with your copy if it doesn’t stand out, and if they’re not emotionally invested, they generally won’t want to invest their time or money either.

What is a Big Idea?

According to the American Writers and Artists Institute, a Big Idea, or hook, is one powerful idea or theme that lies at your advertisement’s centre. It is what your customer will recognize as being the primary or overlying benefit associated with your product or service. 

This message will be the prevailing idea throughout your whole advertisement; it will act as your product or service’s unique selling proposition. Generally, this hook will target a specific audience or aim to elicit a particular type of emotion from prospective customers. 

Why are Hooks Necessary?

First impressions are everything. When you meet someone for the first time, you’re more likely to want to continue to get to know them if you like what you see or what you hear. You’re also more likely to check out someone’s social media accounts and continue to keep in touch with them if they make a good first impression.

In copywriting, your hook acts as your first impression with a potential customer. This hook is one of your business’s main benefits and will set you apart from your competitors. 

The way you present your product or service to a customer for the first time will set the tone for how they will think about your company in the future. In fact, Paul Hollingshead, a co-founder of the American Writers and Artists Institute, says that 30% of your marketing campaign’s success comes from your primary benefit!

You want your customer to see your advertisement and want to know more. You want them to click on your link, follow your social media accounts, and further engage with you and your product or service. 

Chances are, you’re not the first person to decide to promote a certain kind of product or service. Your overlying benefit will be what sets you apart from your competitors, and so it’s essential to find what makes your product or service stand out.

To avoid this problem, copywriters must develop their own “hook”; you have to find something about your product or service that benefits your customer in ways that no other brand can.  

That “hook” in copywriting comes in the form of a Big Idea and should be woven throughout your advertising copy. 

How do you find your Unique Selling Proposition?

Your unique selling proposition is not an answer you can find on Google. It will depend on how you want your product or service to be received. 

According to Digital Marketer, there are a few steps you can take to assist you in your brainstorming process:

  1. Research

Before looking at your product or service specifically, it’s a good idea to look at how other copywriters in the industry approach their messaging. 

Off the top of your head, brainstorm a list of 5 products or brands. Odds are, these products or brands are on your list because of how their marketing impacted you.

Go to their websites and browse through their headings. Take note of the language they use and the ideas they emphasize. Ask yourself:

  • What is their primary benefit?

  • What makes their copy memorable? 

  • Why do people resonate with their messaging?

By researching and analyzing top advertisements, you’ll understand what kinds of copy resonate with different audiences. 

It’s also important to research competing products or services. You don’t want to develop the perfect way to promote your product or service and focus, only to find out that someone else had a similar idea. Your messaging needs to attract customers and convince them that your product or service is the right thing for them, not remind them of someone else’s product or service. 

2. Know Your Product or Service

Next, you want to consider your product or service. Write out a list of every quality that’s unique to your brand. Consider questions like:

  • What stands out about my product or service?

  • What does my product or service do that others don’t?

  • How does my product or service benefit people?

The answers to these questions are what you want to consider including in your unique selling proposition! You want to show customers right off the bat that your product or service is fantastic; you want to show customers why they need to take action and engage with your brand further. The best way to do this is by marketing your product or service’s strengths and showing your customer why you deserve their attention right away.  

Not sure what to include in your hook? At Noetic Marketer, we understand what it takes to market every kind of product or service. Visit our About page to learn more about the process we use to develop winning marketing strategies!

3. Know Your Audience

Another vital aspect to consider when finding your hook is your audience. First, you have to know your target audience.  Some questions to ask yourself are:

  • Is there a specific age, gender, or income demographic I’m looking to target?

  • What interests my target audience, and how do I tailor my message to grab their attention?

  • What kind of language does my target audience use, and are there words/phrases I can use in my messaging to make it more relevant to them?

  • What worries my target audience, and is there something about my product or service that will solve their problems?

These questions are an excellent foundation to consider when building your big idea. You have to remember that you are promoting your product or service to a human being, not a computer. Your copy has to resonate with them in some way, whether that means emotionally or logically. The best way to achieve this is to have a deep understanding of your target audience’s wants and needs.

4. Know Yourself

It may seem a little pointless to consider your own opinions when looking for your hook. After all, you’re marketing to other people, not yourself. Do your interests and feelings about a topic matter when you’re not the target audience?


The first person your hook makes an impression on is you. You can’t expect a prospect to want to engage with your brand if you don’t believe in it yourself! Ask yourself:

  • What makes the product or service stand out to me?

  • What do I think are its most marketable qualities?

  • What could I say about the product or service that would make me want to buy it?

Answering these questions will help you pinpoint what features and benefits should lie at your messaging’s centre. The features and benefits that interest you the most will generally be the features and benefits that customers find the most important. 

A good way to pinpoint these interests is to make yourself a customer. Try out your product or service and figure out what works best for you. Having firsthand experience with your product or service will be highly beneficial in deciding what aspects of your product or service to include in headings and other prominent pieces of copy. 

Get Writing!


Now that you understand the preparation needed to generate a unique selling proposition, it will be much easier to find that perfect marketing strategy for your brand. These steps serve as a way to humanize your product or service. You’re no longer just selling an item or service; you’re selling the solution to someone’s problems. As a result, your brand will be more enticing, as customers will see that it relates to them on a personal level. 

Your Big Idea will sell your story so that your brand is the book they don’t put down.

Want to learn more about developing a unique selling proposition?

Don’t know where to start?

Our team at Noetic Marketer can help you find the right strategies to build your brand’s story. Click here to learn more about the services we offer!


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