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Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Harry Beckwith Visit

I had the honor and privilege of meeting and hanging out with marketing genius Harry Beckwith last week. Harry came to Charleston, West Virginia, to serve as the keynote speaker at the West Virginia Conference on Entrepreneurship 2006.

For those unfamiliar with Harry Beckwith, he is the author of several best-selling books, including Selling the Invisible, The Invisible Touch and What Clients Love. I have read his books and the pages of my copies are filled with notes, highlighting and tabbed sections. Selling the Invisible was named as one of the top ten business books of all time. Harry is an accomplished brand builder whose clients include Target, Microsoft and Gillette.

Harry was gracious with his time and ideas. He was humble, kind and unpretentious. I had the pleasure of taking him to dinner and a brief tour of Charleston. Most impressively, he was impeccable with his service and quality in engaging with our conference steering committee as our keynote speaker. Whenever we needed information and whenever we had questions, Harry was easily accessible and quick to respond to our queries. [Thank you, Harry!]

From his presentation, I was reminded of the importance of storytelling in marketing. Marketers must be great storytellers. Harry shared many compelling stories and examples with our group. I recall his story of a successful direct-mail campaign for a high-end jewelry merchant--gems and the story of The Yellow Canary.

So, I ask you, fellow marketing geniuses, does your brand tell a story? Do you enable customers and prospects to engage with your brand on an emotional level in compelling fashion?

2 Comments:

Blogger Emily Bennington said...

I just came back from a conference keynoted by Mark Victor Hansen and he said the same thing. In marketing, whoever tells their client's story the best WINS!

12:00 PM

 
Anonymous Michael Wagner said...

I think you are dead on about story.

One of the qualities I like about story is how the listener can find a point of relevance that the storyteller might never have imagined.

I tell a lot of branding parables on my site and I am always amazed at the lessons that readers apply to themselves.

Lots of technology can come and go, but the human "hard wiring" that loves story seems to endure.

Thanks for posting about Mr. Beckwith. I've never met him but his writing has been a great help to me.

And thanks for enlarging the conversation!

7:33 PM

 

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