The Art of Storytelling: How to Sell a Boring Product
Welcome to funel.io. Today we will talk about How to Sell a Boring Product. For the most part, marketing is fast-paced, inventive, and even glamorous. Unless you’re trying to come up with a message for a “boring” brand, we’d all love to work with well-known, consumer-facing brands, but the fact is that we’re typically speaking on behalf of less glamorous B2B businesses. When it comes to these, we sometimes spend just as much time figuring out what the company delivers as we build a solid message platform for them. Modern marketing is all about storytelling (among other things), and there’s a story to be told, whether the brand is a hot new mobile app or new wall paint.
So, how do we tell the “boring” brand stories?
Let’s begin with the why. Find out what the brand stands for and what message it promotes, and make sure that message is front and center in the minds of consumers. “People don’t purchase what you do; they buy why you do it,” remarked Simon Sinek, author, and marketing strategist.
Instead of giving a classic problem/solution story, tell a “possibility story.” Possibility stories imply that the brand has a bright future ahead of it and show how it is working to overcome hurdles. The audience is empowered by possible stories, which make them feel like they have a stake in the future of their favorite businesses.
Speak in your native tongue to Sell a Boring Product
It’s all about listening, pain spots, and knowing how to manipulate your data to get inside your clients’ heads, which is the credo of marketing.
While most businesses were preoccupied with demographics, Duluth Trading Company® paid close attention to its consumers. Theirs is a story about hardworking blue-collar men and women who purchase American and work jobs that demand comfort. They created their egregiously ugly clothesline on features like a comfortable crouch gusset that allows the lads to move around freely. Let me say that again—gusset in the crouch position.
They employ consistently hilarious, down-to-earth, and just a bit salty without being filthy language on their website, in their advertising, and on their social media profiles.
It will take a lot of listening to get the language correctly. You’ll need to identify customer pain areas and address them in the same language that they do. Duluth Trading also sells tees with longer tails to conceal the plumber’s crack. Authenticity is at the heart of their brand story.
Consider switching to a feature-centric CRM with social media integration if you’re not already doing so. It will assist you in organizing and segmenting your consumer list and analyzing and learning the language. You’ll be able to tell a genuine story if you have a thorough understanding of your clients.
People buy items from brands whose personalities resonate with their needs and the way they view the world in the same way they believe why you do what you do. Sleek, techy, and clean are words that come to mind when thinking about Apple. You generally think of bright colors, young people, and imaginative play when you think of Lego. Successful brands have distinct personalities, and it is our job as marketers to incorporate those personalities into every story we tell.
Siemens is a wonderful example of a B2B corporation that gives its brand personality. As an electrical engineering firm, you’d think they’d be constrained in their ability to “wow” customers and consumers with compelling digital material, but they’re succeeding. Siemens uses video anecdotes from its engineers and illustrations of their work from the previous 200 years to personalize the company and give a compelling perspective on its place in history on its Facebook page.
Pay close attention to the insights gathered from stakeholder interviews to get to the heart of a brand’s personality, and keep your buyer personas in mind at all times.
Play around with emotions to Sell a Boring Product.
The best stories pull at the audience’s heartstrings, making them want to buy a product or service because they feel like they’re helping the greater good. A public service announcement on wearing a seatbelt is a great example. What could be more uninteresting than a seatbelt? The designers of “Embrace Life” played with the audience’s emotions by persuading them to reconsider the “boring” seatbelt by making them think about the safety of their loved ones. Furthermore, viewers were immediately engrossed in the plot because they didn’t know what the message would be about at first. Successful storytelling requires capturing your audience’s attention at every turn.
Make your customers the center of attention.
Customer tales are an excellent method to engage with customers and generate awareness. Soap isn’t particularly interesting, but Dove stands out by championing real beauty and displaying ordinary women in all their splendor. Since the launch of the award-winning Real Beauty campaign ten years ago, Dove has expanded the concept to include men…and their stories.
It’s simple to put your customers in the spotlight. Request that they send you stories, photographs, or videos that include your product, and then promote them on social media. By promoting your clients, you earn goodwill and gain access to their network.
Project Walk Orlando is a small non-profit organization that operates on a shoestring budget. They make the most of social media by highlighting clients and allowing you to follow their development. The tribulations and accomplishments of people learning to walk again after spinal injuries are featured in their active social media presence, newsletter, and website.
The tale of its customers is also Project Walk Orlando’s story, and the organization’s solid reputation for caring for each client has helped it develop rapidly in recent years.