Photo by Iddo Pedahzur (@iddopedahzur)
There’s a natural tendency for businesses, salespeople and marketers to make feature-benefits the focus of their stories. Sharing what you offer the world is common sense. But how compelling is your story? How far does it go to differentiate your company, product or service from the competition? The difference between creating noise or a signal is in the balance.
Here are 3 levels of storytelling that companies use to engage with their audiences. Which level of storytelling do you typically use?
Hint: focusing on the “why” first and foremost creates a deeper connection between your story and those you share it with. Therefore resulting in higher engagement and trust.
Level 1 - Maker’s Perspective
This is where we tell people what we make or do. From this perspective, we focus almost exclusively on the features we offer. We explain our product or service and how it compares to others in the consideration set. If the features are similar, you are forced into the realm of commodity status where customers inform their buying decisions primarily on pricing.
Level 2 - User’s Perspective
At the next level, we spin 180-degrees from the Maker’s Perspective and think about how our product or service will benefit our customers. It shows we relate to their wants and needs, but still limits our ability to differentiate ourselves from the competition in the hearts and minds of those we want to engage.
Level 3 - Purpose-Driven Perspective
Now, we take our storytelling to a higher level by not only sharing what we do, but why we do it. For example, companies like Patagonia (fighting for the wellness of the natural world), Oatly (making it easy for people to turn what they eat and drink into personal moments of healthy joy without recklessly taxing the planet’s resources in the process) and TOMS (generating profits for grassroots good, supporting people building equity at a local level, and driving progress from the ground up) have a clear purpose. They are engaging their communities with the story of why they do what they do.
By doing this, they give a deeper context and meaning to the business choices they make. So when Patagonia needed to increase prices by using exclusively organic cotton, their customers knew why and likely not only accepted it but celebrated the decision. This strategy is at the core of passionate, sustainable success for purpose-driven businesses.
May 28, 2021