Week after week you wave a flag on Facebook and put an offer out there to get some attention. You offer a price break on your website. You have a special discount in your radio ads. You put a coupon in Groupon or Living Social. But what you’re actually doing is training your customer to scamper closer and take maybe the bait – only to see another offer the next week in next posting or the next mailer. Your phone stops ringing not because your ads became invisible, but because they’re on to you. And when you really have something important to say, they purposefully ignore you. It’s that whole “Fool me once” thing.
You see, smart marketers don’t create a series of non-stop urgencies.
Smart marketers create a bond with future customers.
And you don’t create a bond by crying wolf.
You create a bond by telling a story.
The most compelling stories you can tell are ones that portray you as human:
Who inspired you and why?
How much have you sacrificed?
What made you want to be in the business you’re in?
When you tell stories such as these, you draw others in. They get to know you. When we’re absorbed in a story, we drop our intellectual guard while emotions make a strong chemical imprint. Bonding beats the heck out of advertising.
A company that’s making the most of storytelling to bond with customers right now is Chick-Fil-A. They could be spending their :30 TV spots to talk about menu items, but they’re not. Instead, they’re talking about the impact their employees have on their customer’s lives, going above and beyond. Check into it yourself and see what we mean.
Most ads are full of information that is easily forgotten, particularly if the people exposed to that advertising aren’t currently in the market for whatever you’re selling. Add to that, the clutter of all your competitors talking about basically the same thing as you are: equipment sales, tune-ups, plumbing inspections, blah, blah, blah. How is a customer supposed to tell you guys apart?
But when you tell a story that will bond with those on the other end of that tale, you’ll make a greater impact on their imaginations. Images inspired by those stories will last longer than information about your products and services. You have to bond first, then brand by connecting what you offer with how those offerings have helped others. Tell those feel-good stories and you’ll have a happily-ever-after for your business.
- Creating a series of non-stop urgent messages will eventually stop working.
- Smart marketers draw the public in and create a bond by telling stories.
- Inspirational stories are never about making money. They’re about making a difference.
- The Brand Guys are really good at finding your stories and telling them to others, if you’re brave enough to be different.
Okay, that last one wasn’t in the article, but it’s still true.