Listen, you slick entrepreneur, with your polished product. I bet you think it’s the next big thing. But let’s get one thing straight: a “next big thing” is only as big as the story behind it. Why? Because we live in an era overflowing with “next big things,” and you’re just a drop in that tsunami. If you want to penetrate the densest of markets, your product alone won’t cut it; you need the compelling allure of a well-crafted story.
I am a sucker for a good story. I thought I would love the Tesla story of creating a more sustainable world. Still, on further exploration, the elitism aspect of the story and product line of vehicles as appliances did not resonate with me. However GM’s story and product line did, and I am among the 90,0000 people to have a Hummer EV on order – a pickup with CrabWalk for my regular trips to go hiking in the backcountry in the mountains where I live.
Stop rolling your eyes. This isn’t some “arts and crafts” time where you get to share your feelings. No, no, no. This is the brass tacks, the nitty-gritty, the underbelly of commerce that nobody tells you about because they’re too busy shoving features and benefits down your throat. Wake up! No one cares about your product’s megapixels, megahertz, or mega-whatever. They care about what it means to them and how it slots into the story of their lives.
Look at the heavy hitters, the brands that claw their way through thick and thin. They’re the master storytellers. Apple isn’t selling technology; they’re selling individualism and creative freedom. Nike isn’t peddling sportswear; they’re inspiring athletic prowess and determination. Get it? It’s about selling a feeling, a state of mind, an identity. A story is your secret weapon to cut through the noise like a hot knife through butter, make people stop scrolling, and make them listen.
So, you want to break into a saturated market like Figma did? A story isn’t just the bow on the package; it’s the damn package itself. Start weaving your narrative into every facet of your brand, from your marketing materials to the customer experience. Make your customers the heroes of a journey they never knew they needed to embark on until they found you.
As Joan Didion wisely said, “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” Make your story so compelling, so irresistible, that people can’t help but want to live it. Now go on, light that storytelling fire, and watch the market part like the Red Sea.