The Power of Storytelling

In Seth Godin’s All Marketers Are Liars, he emphasizes the power of storytelling. Humans have been storytelling for ages and Godin explains why it is the best way to spread an idea. Too often, marketing focuses on product features and the word doesn’t get out. People want to talk about remarkable products and experiences. Messages that claim slightly better price or improved quality are not that impressive and over-used business jargon can kill a product’s story just as fast. Instead, it is more important how a product’s story makes the person feel. It is the story that will ultimately please the customer, fulfill their desire and make them want to tell their friends about a new product.

Godin explains that it is important to frame an idea to cater to a community’s beliefs and fit a certain worldview. He shares an example of a story framed around a worldview: organic food is better.  Whole Foods has expanded their business surrounding this story, which lets people tell themselves the story that organic food is healthier and better for the environment. Godin explains, “They shop there because it makes them feel good. They buy foods they want, not need. And all of us derive satisfaction from believing we’ve done the right thing.” While not everyone buys into this story, it fits the needs of a certain group of people who share a similar worldview.

However, a story shouldn’t be a lie and it is important to remember that stories must be authentic. In today’s world, if a product doesn’t live up to the story they are telling, word gets around fast. So once you define your story it is important that a product or service live up to that idea, down to the details.