Products don’t sell, stories do
Bollywood makes more than 300 films in a year.
One or two are block busters. Less than 10 % do above average or average business.
Shah Rukh Khan’s “Pathan” crosses 1,000 crore mark.
Because Shah Rukh Khan is able to tell a great story.
Great stories succeed because they are able to capture the imagination of large or important audiences.
A great story does not sell , because it’s factual, but because it’s consistent and authentic. Consumers are too good at finding out inconsistencies for a marketer to get away with a story that’s just slapped on.
Great stories make a promise.
They promise fun, safety or inspiration. The promise needs to be bold and audacious. It’s either interestingly exciting or it’s not worth listening to.
Great stories are trusted.
Trust is the scarcest resource we’ve got left.
No one trusts anyone, anymore.
People don’t trust celebrities. A recent survey found out that 57 % of the consumers do not trust products sold by celebrities. Everybody believes that they are paid by the companies.
People don’t trust the spokespeople on commercials (who exactly is Virat Kohli or Priyanka Chopra?).
And they certainly don’t trust the companies that make pharmaceuticals (Consumers have become cynical).
As a result, no marketer succeeds in telling a story unless he has earned the credibility to tell that story.
Great stories don’t always need ten-page colour brochures or a face-to-face meeting. Either you are ready to listen or you aren’t.
Great stories don’t appeal to logic, but they often appeal to our emotions.
Great stories are rarely aimed at everyone.
Average people are good at ignoring you. Average people have too many different points of view about life and generally, they don’t care.
If your story to appeals to everyone, it will appeal to no one. The most effective stories match the world view of a tiny audience—and then that tiny audience will spread the story.
Great stories don’t contradict themselves.
Consumers are clever and they’ll see through your deceit at once.
You will lose if your restaurant is at the right location but with average food.
There is no repeat sales for your product with great packaging with inferior quality ingredients.
Most of all, great stories agree with our world view.
The best stories don’t try to teach people anything new. Instead, the best stories agree with our common belief system and makes the members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place.
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About the author: Hemant is the Founder & CEO of branding and marketing firm “Neeti Brand Accelerator” in Mumbai. He is a brand strategist and has worked with more than 150 brands during last two decades. He is also mentor and coach to SMEs and startups. You can visit the website www.neeti.biz. You can contact him at email@example.com