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More What?

filed in Brand Story, Marketing

All marketing is an attempt to amplify.

The story we tell and the marketing we do depends on our priorities. Do you want to be more visible, more trusted, more respected, more desirable, more loved or something else?

Begin with that end in mind and craft your message accordingly.

Image by Jason Ogden

Done Right Is Better Than Perfect

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

Last week, someone—a person with a business, a living to make and maybe mouths to feed, took time to find the contact form on my website to send me this message.

Hello
Are you an online marketer, do you own a business or businesses?

I was just looking at your website.
Do you want real visitors to your website or SEO for social marketing?

-Visitors Come From Facebook
-Real Traffic Will Come From the USA and Europe 24/7
-This Is Lifetime Traffic

==Just for reference, you can see our work here== [hyperlink removed]

Behind this message are business goals, hopes and dreams that have little chance of being realised because the sender opted to take a shortcut.

You’ve probably heard Sheryl Sandberg’s sage advice to entrepreneurs; ‘Done is better than perfect’. I think we need to qualify those words. Done right is better than perfect. If you haven’t got time to do the groundwork to tell the right story to the right person, then that’s a wasted opportunity. Your work is worthy of the effort it takes to go the long way around.

Image by US Embassy

Attention Is A Byproduct Of Affinity.

filed in Brand Story, Marketing

The truest words ever spoken about storytelling were those of one of the greatest storytellers of our generation. J.K. Rowling once said—’No story lives unless someone wants to listen.’

As people who are anxious to change the world, what we try to do is make people listen. But there’s another equally important truth about storytelling that’s often overlooked. No person listens unless they care about what’s being said. Our job then is to tell stories that help people to care first so that they might listen later.

We can’t tell stories that resonate unless we understand the worldview of the people we’re hoping to help or change. We do better when we remember that attention is a byproduct of affinity.

Image by Dima Barsky

Should You Simplify Your Sales Script?

filed in Brand Story, Marketing

There’s a shop half-way down Smith Street that sells just about everything. Whatever you might need from a hammer to a cigarette lighter, a birthday card to an egg slicer they’ve got it. It’s the kind of shop that usually encourages browsing more than buying, where people wander around aimlessly ‘just looking’. But in this shop, an unusually high percentage of people are converted from browsers to buyers.

The shop owner stands behind the checkout at the entrance to the shop making a point of greeting every customer. This is nothing new. We see that happening every day in retailers around the world. What’s different in this situation is what happens next, partly by accident, rather than by design. Because English is her second language, the owner has to choose her words carefully so she can get a response that helps her to understand how to help prospective customers. The indirect approach typically used in other retail environments won’t work for her. She simplifies her script using a more direct approach, asking every person the same question as they enter the shop.

‘Are you looking for something?’

The question elicits a more useful response than the typical, ‘How can I help you?’  It focuses the customer on his original intention and enables the shop owner to help him navigate the Aladdin’s cave of products.

Good salespeople help customers to do the thing they wanted to do. Often in our desire to empower the customer to make the right choice we prevent them from choosing at all. In some situations, the direct approach is the right one.

Image by Brian Yap

The Empathy Profession

filed in Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Marketing

When I was growing up (and maybe when you were too), careers like medicine, nursing and teaching, were regarded as being part of the ’empathy profession’.

Today, every one of us, from accountants to designers, CEOs to Astronauts, are in the ’empathy profession’. No business or brand can thrive without understanding what it is their customer wants. No leader can create meaningful change without seeing the world through the eyes of her colleagues. No innovator can create relevant solutions unless he understands the challenge his invention helps someone to overcome.

It’s hard to empathise with someone unless you know their story. That’s why the software that gets used and the cafes that stay open were created by people who started with their customer’s story.

Whether you’re a designer at Google or a chocolate maker at Pana—it’s only possible to make things that people want by figuring out how those people want to feel in the presence of your product. You tell better stories by understanding the story the customer wants to tell herself. Caring is part of every job description now.

Download and use this Empathy Map PDF to help you get started.

Image by Hernán Piñera

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