“Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell” – Seth Godin
People love a story, and they love a brand who tell a good one.
They want to be taken on a journey, even just for a moment and whatever they’re consuming is no different be it media, clothing, or something as mundane as bottled water (hats off to Fiji for their storytelling).
When a brand has a great story it’s customers are a walking, talking embodiment of that story. For example, when thinking logically no one would argue that $500 for a pair of trainers is ridiculous, but give them a good enough story and the valuation suddenly makes complete sense.
The same goes for anything people consume, the greater a story speaks to an individual the greater an affinity they will feel, make this happen over and over so the story never ends and you have a phenomenon. This is why the most successful businesses in the world have been the result of creatives and not accountants (Disney, Nike, Apple, Tom Ford, Tesla, WholeFoods, take your pick).
“A great brand is a story that never stops unfolding” – Tony Hsieh
The same is also true of an individual, be they an influencer, a writer, a business owner or the head of a company, many of whom don’t believe their story matters and that it’s all about the product when nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth is, once you know your story you have an incredible opportunity to take people with you on your journey, allowing them to deeply identify with your brand and allow it to tell others about the type of person they are. Effectively your brand becomes part of their story and personal identity, Know someone’s favorite brands and it will tell you something about the person.
A lack of compelling storytelling is perhaps the single greatest limitation of many businesses today. If I can’t figure out your story I can’t connect to you and if I can’t connect to you I can’t like you which means it’s unlikely I’ll buy from you, follow you, or remember you.
“People today aren’t just buying a product, they’re investing in a relationship with their brand”
Your story and your skill at telling it is what sets you apart and the deeper you can pull people into your story your ability to connect, contribute and provide value increases exponentially. This is when your successes start to become your followers successes, and the better you do the better everyone will want you to do because you are now a reflection of how they want to be seen.
Your story might just be the greatest marketing tool you’re not using.