I wanna tell you a story…

For those of you too young to remember Max Bygraves, this isn’t gratuitous use of slang, more a reference to an old phrase of the past, used by a once famous singer – yet it’s a phrase that has considerable relevance to today.

Because marketing people talk a lot about telling the story of your brand. It helps to promote buy-in, loyalty and understanding of what your company is about.

And I’d like to reference a couple of instances in pop culture where story telling has won the day.

The 1st and 2nd best selling singles in the UK of all time relate to real life events – Candle in the Wind by Elton John and Do they know it’s Christmas by Band Aid, they’re kind of real life stories. The 3rd best selling single is Bohemian Rhapsody, it tells a story of a guy that just killed a man, you might remember it!

And in a poll by Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine to find out the best song lyrics of all time, listeners voted for Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon.

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walkin’ through the streets of Soho in the rain
He was lookin’ for the place called Lee Ho Fooks
Gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein

Do these words conjure up a picture for you, set a scene, even give you a tangible feeling? They take you on a journey, and that’s the point I’m trying to make.

These words are clever, and they work, and songs like these appeal to our human instinct to want to know more.

The people that love these songs are highly likely the same people that you’re trying to sell to. So, now you know what they like, use this as a guide to help you create your next blog or website content, promotion or presentation. Tell a story and you’ll have a captive audience.

The Innocent brand famously tells the story of their start-up. The founders sold their new smoothie fruit drinks at a London music festival, and asked customers whether they should give up their day job and make their smoothies a full time commitment.

Customers voted with their empties – filling the ‘yes’ bin (yes they should give up their day jobs) in vastly more quantities than the ’no’ bin, giving an overwhelming thumbs up to the product.

It’s a twee story, some might say, but it’s worked wonders for their profile.

So what’s your story? Think Richard Branson selling magazines at school, to Alan Sugar selling car aerials and electrical items out of a van with an initial investment of just £50. Do you have a start-up story that explains how to got to where you are today?

Stories take people on an emotional journey. They help consumers engage with your brand. If you’d like a chat about how we can create a story around your brand, I’d be pleased to help.