We’ve been saying for years that the key to outperforming your competition is to have a really powerful story…and then tell it well. (The caption to the above image is “A strong story, well told.) If you do both of these things better than your competition – you will succeed.
And while some marketers have allowed evolving technologies to distract them from this core principle…the smart marketer recognizes its enduring power. The key is to use today’s technology as another avenue for spreading your story…but don’t let the technology become the story.
A major industry magazine called 2014 ‘The Year of the Story”…see why below…
So we were delighted to open this months issue of Sales and Marketing Management Magazine to find out that they agree with us. In a story titled A Strong Story Well Told, S&MM not only reinforced our message about the power of the story…but they also noted how much more this concept is being talked up by the marketing-centric media.
For example, S&MM reports that the year 2014 was designated “The year of the Story” by Entrepreneur Magazine. Writer Amy Cosper said that “Of all the highs and lows, storytelling seemed to be the major business lesson of 2014.”
The report also noted that no less than the Harvard Business Review called storytelling “a strategic tool with ‘irresistible power.'”
Even the staid New York Times business section reporter Alina Tugend weighed in on the importance of storytelling. Saying in an article that “…it’s not enough just to offer up the facts about you or your company to prospective employers or investors [or customers]. You need to be compelling, unforgettable, funny and smart. Magnetic, even….You need a good story.”
Want to hear a specific example of how to craft a good story? We highly recommend you listen to the podcast Startup by National Public Radio’s Alex Blumberg. Blumberg tells the story of how he quit his job at NPR, and sought investors to fund his startup company. By luck, he ends up in front of one of the most successful venture capitalists in the world and tells his story. And, by the way, he recorded it for you to hear. It’s terrible…really terrible. In fact, it’s so bad, that pretty soon the investor – feeling bad for the poor guy – helps create his story for him.
A story drives your brand, market position, and uniqueness. Without a strong story, your just another name.