Your Customers Are Always the Story

Photographers Photographing

In writing and movies and storytelling, there’s always the question of point of view. From whose eyes will we see the story? Who will lead us into this world? In Harry Potter, the title character is our point of view, and we experience all the magic from the eyes of someone who was seemingly normal, like us. Most stories start like that. They lead us in from “what was” into “the exciting new part.” Jaws starts with Chief Martin Brody trying to be the best dad and chief he can be, and ends with all kinds of crazy. But Brody’s our point-of-view character.

Your Customers Are Always the Story

Where marketing seems to go wrong more often than not is when it’s about the product and not the story it helps the customer tell. They lose the sense of a point-of-view character. They think the thing is the star. But that would be like making a movie about the Batmobile instead of Batman. The car is cool. No doubt. But we need a story. Knight Rider was basically a show built to sell Trans Ams, but we still had David Hasselhoff there to help us get the story told.

This video’s a bit long at 7 minutes, but watch how Intel makes a customer into a story:

Can’t see the video? Click here.

It’s okay for the product to make an appearance, obviously, but the goal is to use the product to tell the story of the people using it.

And Now You

How can you make the story be about the customer? Easy. Find customers that use your product and love it. Seek testimonials. Find ways to make interesting things happen. Bert DuMars from Newell Rubbermaid posted this video from the Sharpie Slam at Digital Atlanta. It’s the product empowering a story.

See how that works?

How will you make the customer the story?

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