Your most important Marketing Asset: Your Story

From lean start-ups to big big household names, most companies are always looking for new marketing tools & strategies that will create buzz and sales.

As Inc. Writer Vanessa Merit Nornberg rightly points out, one of the most powerful marketing assets every company can leverage, is its story. And that overall story is the sum of different stories on various levels. She highlights 4 key stories, each with an interesting example:

  1. The company’s story: Example: An agency owner that starts a new agency after the one he worked for got sold and he was asked to let go most of his staff. Instead of doing so, he quit his job, started his own agency and hired most of the staff from the old agency.
  2. The product’s story: Example: A japanese company that makes very traditional Japanese-style screens to decorate and divide rooms. The company lets a traditional artisan demonstrate how the product is being built with precision handwork at an industry fair. By doing so the company is telling the product story in a very compelling and visual way.
  3. The personal story: A real estate agent that was a succesfull psychologist before. She is selling hereself as an „consummate negotiator and an understanding counselor to illustrate how she will get her client through the sale in good financial--and mental--condition.“
  4. Enabling customers to be involved in a business’ story: the local bookstore that asks regular in shop browsers to not only enjoy the benefit of browsing books & then buy online - but actually buy from them to support local bookstores in the neighbourhood.

Of course, these are just 4 examples. And every one of these 4 stories can be told in hundred different ways. This is even more true as the social & mobile web brought us hundreds of tools & features to do so. The thing is, these tools are almost worthless if you don’t know what your story is. And I think that is what’s happening to too many brands. They are too focused on leveraging the tools than defining what their stories are. Only when both elements come together, a storie’s impact can be perfecty brought to life in the social & mobile web.

Want an example? The Guys behind Spotify are crazy about Music. In fact Spotify is a product of passion for music. And with an amazing growthrate Spotify is more and more becoming an equivalent to music. Instead of using Facebook’s new Timeline features for Brand pages to tell it’s fans about the usual company milestones – it created a complete guide to the history of music - in form of the timeline. Because to them: Music = Spotify. That’s what I mean by leveraging new social web features for your storytelling. The channel nor the feauture is the story – but in this case Facebook’s Timeline is the perfect tool to bring to life its story about passion for music in a fun and engaging way.