Your song matters.
But your story matters more.
Take Erykah Badu’s new song “Window Seat”. A decent song, but not one that would likely gain the world’s attention. After all, Badu has been an eccentric fringe artist for her entire career, not a mainstream singer who you would normally read about in USA Today.
But Erykah has made “Window Seat” into a compelling story by creating a video in which she sheds all of her clothes on a symbolic walk through Dealey Plaza, eventually collapsing naked on the same spot where John F. Kennedy was assasinated in 1963. The very public nudity was a big story, and now a charge of disorderly conduct and a $500 fine is making the story even more compelling.
The video, not the song, is the story.
Have you determined your brand’s story? Do you tell it passionately?
Visit the website of Dyson vacuum cleaners and you can read about how James Dyson was turned down by every major vacuum manufacturer when he presented his designs. He went on to build his own company, sue the big guys, and become a billionaire.
The story of two college dropouts selling pints of home-made ice cream from the back of their VW microbus makes up a large part of the Ben and Jerry’s brand. They take advantage of every opportunity to tell that compelling story.
The fresh crisp water of the Rocky Mountains became core to the story of Coors beer. Today Coors Light remains one of the top 5 best selling beers in America. Does brewing your beer with water from the Rocky Mountains of Boulder, Colorado make for a better beer than brewing with Boston tap water does? Who knows, but it makes for a great story for Coors.
What’s your brand’s story?
Maybe you have a challenge story about taking on the big guys like James Dyson. You could be the little auto repair shop that beats the national chain… you can relate to the average person’s desire to take on the big powers-that-be.
Maybe you have a creativity story like Coors using Rocky Mountain water. You could be the wing place that uses a secret sauce that nobody can copy… you can relate to the average person’s desire to be unique in a cookie-cutter world.
Maybe you have a connection story like Ben and Jerry starting a business that reflected their hippie culture values of late-1960′s Vermont. You could be the accountant that used to work for the government doing tax audits… you can relate to how the average person gets screwed.
Your brand has a story. It is in there somewhere. Look for it. Tell it. Make it an essential part of your brand identity. Give your customers a story they can identify with and, better yet, tell their friends.
Need help telling your story? Read “Made To Stick” by Dan and Chip Heath.
Now, here’s a look at the video that is giving Erykah Badu a story to tell…