“So, what’s your story?”
Walk up to a stranger and ask that, and you’ll startle them. But you’ll grab their attention, and you might even generate a smile. And they probably won’t know exactly what to say.
Everybody has a story, but most of us struggle to put it into words.
And this “story problem” – taking everything you know about something, then turning that into a narrative that makes sense, and grabs attention, and makes the listener want to know even more… isn’t just a problem for people. Having a great story is essential for products, and companies, and brands. Those stories need to be clear, and compelling, and concise. They need to strike a chord, because the story is the heart of what you need people to know, and believe, and embrace. The story is the very embodiment of what you’re trying to convince people they need.
You hire salespeople to tell your story, and agencies to polish and publicize your story, and maybe you’re even telling your story to bosses and board members and others you need to convince. So why don’t companies and brands take at least as much interest in their story as they do in all the vehicles that exist to tell it? This is one of the great mysteries of business, because instead of focusing on their story, most companies will instead focus on changing out salespeople, and creating yet another new ad, and spending money to look like and sound like all the other companies vying for the customer’s attention. And then those companies wonder why they’re not as successful as they think they should be.
That’s situation for most people who come to us with a marketing problem. All too often, they’re losing money because of high sales team turnover, and media buys that don’t generate results, and whatever the latest marketing fad they’ve been convinced to try. But those things are almost never the problem.
Their story is the problem.
That means their salespeople aren’t selling as well as they could, and agencies are creating ads and media that don’t resonate, all that money spent on marketing isn’t working nearly as well as it could.
In our experience, companies and brands can improve things dramatically by cutting back on all the money, time and effort they’re spending on telling their story, and instead focusing on the story itself. It takes time to get that story just right, and more effort and energy than it takes to just buy more media.
But when they finally get it right, it all pays off. Magic happens.
That’s the power of a great story.