Stories Sell Products
We live in over supplied times, there are many other other businesses with very similar offers to ours chasing the same customers as us.
Finding a way to make sure customers buy our products and services rather than our competitors is becoming ever more difficult.
In an effort to over come this many businesses I work with attempt to compete on solely price.
Attempting to compete only on price encourages a race to the bottom, as there will always be someone else ready to work for less money.
So what is the solution?
Let me tell you a short story about eggs. (Its more interesting than it sounds..honest)
In 1995 86% of all eggs sold in the UK were from battery chickens. Battery hens lived in tiny, shoe box sized cages, unable to turn around, standing on wire mesh cage floors that injured their feet. But still the eggs sold.
By 2012 51% of all eggs in the UK were now from free range chickens….a 400% increase in 18 years.
Now, free range eggs are:
- Almost identical in taste for most people.
- 25% MORE expensive on average.
So what changed?
During that time, UK legislation was passed that meant that where the eggs came from had to be visible on all eggs. At the same time time there was significant media coverage on cooking shows and in the news about the plight of caged chickens.
The story of the eggs had changed.
These days, most UK consumers want no part in the suffering of animals and like the story of hens roaming around in the sunlight, scratching in the earth and laying eggs in boxes of straw.
This shows a very interesting development.
The most important factor is now how the eggs are produced, not what is produced i.e. that you can buy cheap eggs.
As I pointed out earlier, understanding the story of how the eggs are produced is the bit that increased sales. I mean, who wants to be the cause of suffering of animals?
So, lets apply this thinking to your business.
Yes, I know what you do is amazing, changes lives and makes the world better on a daily basis…but that is the what you do.
How do you what you do? What is the story of your product or service?
What is special about what you do?
- Is it built on a personal experience, understanding or a recovery from disaster?
- Do you employ only local people? industry experts? talented monkeys?
- How do your clients blossom as humans/businesses by working with you?
- Do you work so you can donate to charities, international aid programmes or for the furtherance of space exploration?
- Something, anything, that sets you apart from your competition.
My hunch is, that as a creative individual, your processes are very different from those you have seen other people use (I tend do do my writing bundled up in bed when my family are asleep for instance) otherwise, you would just be copying what you have already seen.
Sharing your stories will help your clients engage with you as people, rather than just “a business” and form a bond over time increasing the likelihood that they will continue to buy what you produce.
What to do about this:
Take a minute and write a few notes about:
- What stories are you telling about what you do?
- Where are the best places for you to share your stories? Website? Social Media? Local or national press?
- Who is the best person to write these stories? You? One of your team? A client?
- How are you going to share the best stories about you?
If you are struggling with creating these stories, you could ask a friend or colleague or even better, one of your clients to describe your business and start from there.
It would be remiss of me at this point not to mention my short book “Start Spreading The News! – How To Write a Press Release” which explains both the whole process and what to do with the story once you have completed it.
If you have any questions, pop them into the comments section and I will answer them as soon as I can
Thanks for reading