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Every Business Has A Story To Tell


Everybody likes a good story and why not? Stories are entertaining Wholesale NFL Football Jerseys , instructive, engaging and above all human; they connect people to people, and businesses to customers. Stories are about communication and communication is the essence of marketing.


We have at our disposal the greatest communication tool the world has ever known, the Internet, and we are wasting it. Websites are used as if they were corporate brochures. The techno-experts would even have us remove its visual and kinetic elements, and turn it into an academic-style journal to please the SEO gurus. We've been there and done that. Search engine optimization is great, but who is going to go to your website if it's boring to view Wholesale Football Jerseys , and tedious to operate. It's time to move on.


A Communication Venue For The Rest of Us


The Web is a multimedia communication venue, and with increased bandwidth and high-speed connections we can use it effectively to deliver our marketing messages. But communication is a funny thing, just because we talk, write and present information, doesn't mean we are communicating.


Since I am advocating storytelling as a means of delivering your marketing messages, I will illustrate my point - you guessed it - with a story. In his book 'Information Anxiety,' Richard Saul Wurman relates the following story attributed to U.S. Representative Pat Swindall Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys , of Georgia.


"A woman seeking a divorce went to visit her attorney. The first question he asked her was, 'Do you have grounds?'


She replied, 'Yes, about two acres.'


'Perhaps I'm not making myself clear,' he said, 'Do you have a grudge?'


'No, but we have a carport Wholesale Authentic NFL Jerseys ,' she responded.


'Let me try again. Does your husband beat you up?' he said impatiently.


'No, generally I get up before he does,' she said.


At this point the attorney decided to try a different tack. 'Ma'am, are you sure you really want a divorce?'


'I don't want one at all, but my husband does. He claims we have difficulty communicating.'"


It's a great story; it delivers everything a good story should communicate: a appoint-of-view, information, emotion Wholesale NFL Jerseys Online , and truth about the human condition. The only thing that would make this story more effective is if it was delivered by a human voice that could add character, emphasis, and personality.


Marketing is nothing more than telling your story in an effective way that embeds your identity into the minds of your audience, connecting and communicating who you are, what you do, and why your audience should be doing it with you. Branding and positioning are the results, not the process.


So Tell Me A Story - It's All In the Delivery


One of the great storytellers of the last forty years is radio broadcaster and commentator Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap , Paul Harvey. In his hay-day he had everything a great storyteller needed to make a memorable impression: the voice, the cadence, the attitude, the writing, and the 'schtick.'


He presented his commentaries as if he was reading the newspaper, even, reading off the page numbers when he came back from commercial Wholesale NFL Jerseys From China , "Page Two." He would craft his stories by introducing the listener to a character in the most casual way, perhaps by referring to him or her by a diminutive first name. By the end of the story, he would tell you who this person really was and invariably it was someone famous, and the story he told revealed something unusual or hidden in this person's background. Each story had a strong point-of-view, and each commentary was ended with the tag line, "? and now you know the rest of the story." Paul Harvey's little radio commentaries are a quintessential example of Sonic Personality?


"Content is Not Communication"


Web experts are always talking about 'content' and how 'content is king' on the Web, but as Curt Cloninger wrote in his article 'A Case for Web Storytelling' "content is not communication."


Content just lies there until it is delivered in some proactive manner Wholesale NFL Jerseys China , and plain text content on your website is as far from proactive as you can get. Stories must be communicated effectively if you want to deliver your intended message. Left alone, your audience will scan, skip, misinterpret and generally overlook the point you are trying to convey. The only effective way to make sure your audience doesn't misconstrue the message of your story is to deliver it in a human voice: one with character, cadence, accent, language Wholesale NFL Jerseys , and an attitude that represents who you are. A story well told creates expectations and relevance; it creates image and identity, and it focuses on the business promise you must fulfill.


Fakers Need Not Apply


As good as your storyteller is, he or she cannot overcome a fake. You must be honest to who you are, and what you really do. Every business has a character, and an operational ethos. Trying to communicate a message that conflicts with that corporate character is a prescription for failure. Apple and Dell are both good companies, but Apple Computer is cutting-edge; Dell is not. Walmart and The Gap are both successful companies, but The Gap is cool and Walmart is Walmart. No matter how hard a company tries Wholesale Authentic Jerseys , they can't be something they are not, and trying can only create false expectations, confusion and failure.


A Blueprint for Creating Your Brand Story


Whether you write the story yourself, or you hire someone to write it for you, you must first gather the necessary material. The easiest way to collect material is to create a series of questions that when answered reveal the Brand Story. Think of the process as an interview.


The Brand Story Interview 1. What was the original vision of the company? 2. Who were the company's founding fathers? 3. How was the company started? 4. What was the guiding entrepreneurial philosophy? 5. Is there a creative genius or technical wizard

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