Customers don't buy a product, they buy a story
“Stories make it easier to understand the world. Stories are the only way we know to spread an idea. Marketers didn’t invent storytelling. They just perfected it.”
All marketers tell stories
And if they do it right, we believe them. What they sell is not only the concrete value of the product, which may be close to truth or not, but the experience we can try possessing it. They are selling you the chance to be part of an elite. And believing it makes it true.
A great story is true
“Not true because it’s factual, but true because it’s consistent and authentic. Consumers are too good at sniffing out inconsistencies for a marketer to get away with a story that’s just slapped on.”
Great stories often appeal to our senses
Pheromones aren’t a myth. People decide is they like someone after just a sniff. And the design of an Alessi teapot talks to consumers in a way that a fact sheet about boiling water never could.
A great story makes a promise
“They promise fun or money, safety or a shortcut. The promise is bold and audacious and not just very good – it’s exceptional or it’s not worth listening to.”
Everyone is a liar
“You are a liar, and so am I. We all lie to ourselves because we are superstitious. We use stories to fill the gaps in information that comes to us throughout the day. The stories are lies to make it easier to live in a complicated world. We tell ourselves stories that couldn’t possibly be true, but believing them is what allows us to function. Marketers are Liars because the people demand them to be. Marketers tell stories and consumers believe them. Some do it well, others not so much. But the truth is the consumer needs a good story in order to feel good about making a decision. It’s just natural to buy something from someone telling a story, it’s become part of the norm. People can’t handle the truth, so marketers lie.”
*You can't handle the truth is obviously from a "A Few Good Men"
If you want to sell, spread ideas
Marketing is about spreading ideas, and spreading ideas is the single most important output of our civilization. The spread of an idea can be powerful and dangerous at the same time and marketing is the assets to leverage on, in a clever way. Marketing matters because whether or not you’re in a position to buy a commercial, if you’ve got an idea to spread, you’re now a marketer.
Consumers want to create and believe their own stories
“This is a hard less for a lot of marketers to learn. It’s easy to tout your features, focus on the benefits, give proof that you are, in fact, the best solution to the problem. But proof doesn’t make the sale. Of course, you believe the proof, but your audience doesn’t. The very fact that you presented the proof makes it suspect. If a consumer figures something out or discovers it on her own, she’s a thousand times more likely to believe it than if it’s just something you claim.” And in addition to this: “The facts are irrelevant. In the short run, it doesn’t matter one bit whether something is actually better or faster or more efficient. What matter is what the consumer believes, the story they tell themselves.”
Marketing is storytelling
“The story of your product, built into your product. The ad might be part of it, the copy might be part of it, but mostly, your product and your service and your people are all part of the story. Tell it on purpose.”
Stories happen fast
“They engage the consumer the moment the story clicks into place. First impressions are far more powerful than we give them credit for. Great stories match the voice the consumer’s world-view was seeking, and they sync right up with her expectations.”
From Seth Godin's book "All Marketers Are Liars"