Tell a good story

11 Aug

The next time you’re out doing your groceries, observe what makes you reach out for one brand of coffee and not the other. Apart from the obvious difference in aroma, we’re all influenced by the story behind every brand.

CoffeeIf you’re a person with a strong sense of social responsibility, it’s likely you’ll buy the story of fair-trade brands, on how the profits are benefiting harvesters in poorer regions. If you see coffee drinking as a form of art meant to be slowly savoured by the window on a wintry morning, you’d probably react better to brands that position themselves as ‘connoisseurs’ or purveyors of sophistication.

Whatever your caffeine inclination may be, you must have agreed with the proposition of the brand before making a purchase. This is an unspoken contract between you and the brand. The point is, there is no boring product, only a boring proposition.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling something of little interest. A story can always be created for seemingly insignificant products like paper clips or umbrellas. If the Japanese can popularise the collecting of moss balls in cutsey bottles, there’s no saying why you can’t develop an angle for your product. It’s how you package it. It’s how you bring the prospective customer on a journey of discovery.

Let them run around in your world and get them warmed up to the idea that your brand has something interesting to share. Feed them little nuggets of information. Was it fabricated with materials unique to the region? Make that your angle. Did it undergo multiple rounds of stringent inspection, far more than your rivals? Harp on that.

Anything you left out about your product or service can be picked up by your competitors and used to their advantage. Claim ownership of a story angle before anyone else does. Make it yours, and make it big.

Take a good look at your product. Walk about in your factory. Talk to your workers. You’d be surprised that the most mundane piece of information can distinguish you from your competitors.

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