Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


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, November 29, 2007

A to Z of Marketing: S is for Storytelling

Last weekend CBS Sunday Morning ran a profile of an elderly gentleman who has won car shows across the country. He doesn’t have the fastest car or the shiniest car, and he certainly doesn’t have the newest car. Frankly, it looks like a step above the Model T.

So why does he keep winning? Answer is, the story. The car might not have significant monetary value, but its story is priceless. A widower, this elderly man uses the car to keep memories of his late wife alive.

It picked up his wife on their first date more than six decades ago. It still holds the engraving from where she carved her name in the steering wheel. It has driven children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and now it’s come full circle. A man and his car -alone again.

We say it a lot here at Marketing Genius, but it’s worth saying again: All good marketing is storytelling.

So, what’s the story behind your product? Is it compelling? Does it make people care? Author Jeffrey Gitomer says that the heart and the wallet are connected. If you pull on people’s heartstrings, their wallet pops out. Blunt truth… but truth nonetheless.

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Blogger J. Keeling said...

Indeed, stories are an excellent means of differentiating a product, service, or place.

Regarding the latter, I believe we in West Virginia must continue to focus on the power of storytelling by educating the world on who we really are. This week's "hicks and hee-haws" comments by CBS Sportsline commentator Mike Freeman regarding West Virginia University's football program is a prime example of how ignorance leads to misunderstanding. One of the best means for overcoming such isn't just whining about it, but offering compelling stories that create the type of emotional connection Emily references. After we befriend the nation, we'll gladly accept their tourism dollars.

4:09 PM

Blogger Skip Lineberg said...


Very well said. Thanks for joining this important conversation. Marketing is, indeed, very dependent upon storytelling, isn't it?


3:31 PM


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