One of my favorite copywriting techniques is educating the reader. There are a couple of benefits of doing this. Lands’ End did a fine job of it on this tag that was on a pair of jeans I recently purchased.
Here, they’re teaching me what “crocking” means. Surprisingly, I didn’t know what this word meant, even after writing for a fashion e-commerce site for a few years! There really is no need to look it up in the dictionary. The parenthetical expression defines it: “staining of other fabrics or skin.” (For the record, the dictionary definition is “to transfer color.”
The effect of this technique is twofold: the brand gains authority in the readers’ (customers’) minds. As in, I now know that Lands’ End truly understands denim. Second, the readers feel included because they now know this specialized language, too. If the copy hadn’t explained what “crocking” is, the readers may have been confused if they didn’t know the word.
Subtle is key. There’s no need to be patronizing when using this technique and like all good things, moderation is best.