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The notion sickens almost everyone: legendary musician John Phillips having a 10 year drug-fuelled incestuous relationship with his daughter Mackenzie Phillips. That’s the claim being made by Mackenzie in her new book “High On Arrival”.
It is a disgusting and headline-grabbing story. If only it were fiction. But Mackenzie maintains the story is absolute truth, and half-sister Chynna Phillips says she believes it.
The sad but real truth is that engaging stories sell books. Stories sell albums. Stories sell video games. This story, as repulsive as it is, will sell a lot of books that otherwise wouldn’t ever leave the shelves. Without this story, would the world really care about a new book from Michelle Phillips?
Humans have been addicted to stories since we could first communicate. The good, the bad, and the very ugly included.
We made paintings on the walls of caves.
We sang songs passed down from generation to generation.
We told stories that became legends and myths to teach lessons and morals.
We created plays, performances, and later movies and TV programs.
We pursued the printed word, first on silk and then on paper and then on screens.
Humans react to stories, good and bad. We relate. We empathize. We get angry. We get disgusted. But in all of those cases, we get engaged.
Great “rock star” bands tell stories in their marketing. When you buy their product, you are buying their story as much as their product.
What is your brand’s story? If you are selling a tell-all autobiography about your life, your story might be as sad as Mackenzie Phillips’.
More likely, you have a story within your brand somewhere that resonates with people. It doesn’t matter how bland and everyday your business may seem to you. Somewhere in there is a great story waiting to be discovered. It could be your founding fathers, your technological advances, or your secret sauce.
Orville Redenbacher had a fantastic story. He joined the 4-H club as a child and began a lifelong obession with developing the perfect popcorn. He sold it from the side of the road in his hometown in Indiana. He went to school to learn more about it. When he eventually bought a seed corn plant, he went through tens of thousands of variations until he found the perfect blend.
Colonel Sanders. That’s a story. His dad passed away when he was young and his mother had to go to work, and that left the cooking in the hands of young Harlan Sanders. When he opened his first restaurant years later, he spent nine years developing the best way to make fried chicken. His stereotypical southern gentleman attire was all part of a marketing plan that worked brilliantly, and still does to this day.
How about Remington? Victor Kiam liked the product so much, he bought the company. A wonderful story that Kiam exploited relentlessly in his media campaigns in the 70′s and 80′s.
Discover your story, and share your story.