What’s Your Story?

“Our featured wine this evening is a very nice gewürztraminer that is made from grapes that are grown in caves in a remote part of southern Italy. Monks would tend to these grapes on a daily basis caring for their every need. The monks will only feed the grapes water that has melted off of a glacier ice cap in Alaska, because that water carries more nutrients than normal rainwater might deliver. How many bottles would you like this evening?” That my friends is how I sold more wine than anyone else in the five star fine dining establishment that I worked at in Houston, Texas. The sales pitch you just read is full of BS just to make this a little more entertaining but I swear to you, we featured a wine with a background something like this and it sold like crazy at $200 a bottle.  Why? Because of the story.

story telling

Marketing your products/company is all about your story, how well you tell it, who you tell it to, and how often you get it in front of your intended audience.  If you have not already seen it, you need to read the article by Mark Kinsley  giving us some great examples of companies like T-Mobile, Apple, and Gallery Furniture and how they have successfully used story telling to market themselves to their audience.  Consumers love stories because they bring products and people to life, and give dimension to the products and services you are promoting.

Why do companies like Mercedes, Rolex, or Ralph Lauren get so much more for the products that they sell? They have done an incredible job of talking about and building value in what they do through effective story telling. If you are going to buy a bicycle for $10,000, would you do so if it were sitting on the shelf at Wal-Mart next to the other $200 options? They both have pedals and they both transport you from point A to point B don’t they? In this case you can read about this Dura Ace bike  and see why some believe that $10,000 is a reasonable price to pay.  But for you to agree to buy one, you are likely going to need to do some serious reading about it before hand or speak to a skilled rsa that can walk you through all of the reasons that you absolutely have to have this particular bike. If the story isn’t good enough, or if its not told well, they won’t move a single unit.

Think about the products you are selling to your customers. Has the manufacturer done a good job of building a great story for you to tell?  How old is the story that they want you to communicate? Has it been sufficiently refreshed to keep it interesting in the market or is it the same old thing, just recycled with a few tweaks but sold to you as something NEW and EXCITING?

Consider the mattress market today. ISPA tells us that about 20% of the dollars happen above $2,000 in queen, or something close to that last time I checked. We can debate ISPA numbers another time but consider this…is it only 20% because the consumer out there just won’t spend that kind of money on a bed OR because we have not done our job in giving them a good enough reason to spend more money?  Is a new memory foam formulation enough to get the consumer excited? Is simply telling the consumer that this particular bed is hand crafted enough? Aren’t they all hand crafted? I suggest to you that we are underselling the consumer today and with the right story we can actually convince more consumers out there that spending a lot of money on your mattress makes more sense than buying a $10,000 bike.

This Wednesday we will be issuing a press release on our story about our products and company and I hope that you connect with it. We feel that the story is new, compelling, fun to share and easy to tell. It is something that is unique and to my knowledge, nothing like it has ever been sold in the United States. It is not marketing BS and addresses a fast growing consumer trend. When told right, it will justify higher dollars at the register, which means more profit for the retailer and more commission for the rsa.

I am looking forward to hearing your feedback and running into old friends at market in Vegas next Sunday. When I do see you, remind me to tell you what happened to the fancy restaurant I mentioned at the beginning of this post. THAT is a funny story.


PS  DO NOT FORGET that the Ante for Autism event is Saturday evening, January 17th at 7PM at the Golden Nugget. Doug Krinsky and his excellent team of host are raising money to defeat autism so PLEASE join them if you can. Learn more HERE.



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