Something to talk about

You sell something that people want.                                                                                      

I don’t know what it is but I’m betting that more people deserve to know about it – right? Because what you do makes life better/easier/nicer for your customers and clients. So give them something to talk about as well as something to buy.

Give them your stories because they’re what people want to hear and share.

Story telling in a big way

We see it with the major brands. Storytelling works for Nike, Coca Cola and Apple where teams of writers fossick through the business to pull out gold.

They create BIG polished stories that take a heap of money and lots of professionals to produce, with an end result that’s often stunning. Like Toyota which is using video storytelling to explain why and how they’re researching alternative fuels like cow manure and lemonade (seriously). And suddenly, what was potentially a confusing and even boring subject is simple and memorable. Their videos are all worth watching but I especially liked this cutie about using lemonade to power a car. 

It doesn’t matter that the car they feature, the Toyota Mirai, isn’t likely to go on sale in Australia anytime soon. The video gets people talking about what Toyota is doing to develop cars of the future. Which is what Toyota wants. And in classic storytelling style, they’ve done it with cute kids and lemonade stands – not the science behind it.

Small is memorable too

You might not have the big brand budget but that doesn’t mean you can’t tell your own shareable stories.

And you can do it in lots of little ways… like the way that story telling is used by Melbournian Boa Hoang in his hugely successful Vietnamese food franchise, Rolld. His family came to Australia years ago as boat people, bringing with them little more than the traditional recipes passed on from generation to generation. When Boa started his first Rolld outlet, selling takeaway food based on those old family recipes, he realised that he needed to include the story behind the food.

Food in Vietnam is always fresh. Every morning thousands of people cram into their overly crowded local wet markets to buy fresh meat, fish and vegetables, to take home and cook their morning meal…. At every Rolld store, you will experience the very same home-made essence and fresh Vietnamese street food inspired taste with a twist for modern Australia.

There’s just enough storytelling for us to feel that the rice paper rolls and pho are authentic Vietnamese street food. What makes it powerful is that it’s based on truth, conjures up images and feelings, and comes back to why this story should matter to us as an audience – which is, ‘We can trust Rolld to make authentic Vietnamese street food from they know Vietnam’.

Real stories bring real connections

Story telling isn’t all fiction and fairy tales. It can be about real stories, told well. The story of how you got started; of how your products are made with care; of how much people love what you do (that one’s really powerful when it’s told by your clients and customers themselves in testimonials or case studies).

It doesn’t take a marketing team. It just takes you to uncover and understand what is memorable about your business. And then write it so it shows what it means for your customers and clients, in the same way that Rolld has done. By telling us about Vietnamese food traditions, Rolld gives us reasons to trust them to sell authentic Vietnamese street food. And when we buy from Rolld, we also get to tell the story of the great little takeaway place we know where the food is great and made by people who really know Vietnam.

It’s all about giving people the stories they can get involved in.

Then your story becomes part of their story, which is when marketing gets easier.

(This article first appeared on HerBusiness blog)

 

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