marketing, business, brand, story, ogilvy

Someone asked me why her business needed a story. She thought it was, “a load of trendy nonsense”.

When I answered her question, she emailed me back to say it had changed her perception completely. She said it would improve her approach to marketing forever.

So today, I decided to share my answer with you. I hope you find it just as useful.

Why your business needs a story

My answer begins with a quote from advertising legend, David Ogilvy. Ogilvy was the inspiration behind the hit TV show, Mad Men.

Here’s what he had to say.

“There isn’t any significant difference between the various brands of whiskey, or cigarettes or beer. They are all about the same”. “[…] The manufacturer who dedicates his advertising to building the most sharply defined personality for his brand will get the largest share of the market at the highest profit”.

That message isn’t new. It was written decades ago, as you can tell from the examples he uses. But it’s even more valid in 2024, than when Ogilvy shared it.

Think about it. Apple’s iPhone is the best selling mobile phone in the world, despite being one of the most expensive. It doesn’t have the best display, the best camera, the best signal reception or the best battery life.

But it does have the best story.

Emotions drive decisions

Your prospective clients or customers are motivated by emotions, far more than logic. The way they feel about you and your brand, is what will drive their decision to hire you, buy from you and recommend you. And it’s your story, which determines how they feel about you. (I explain why in this post, Does your business pass the coffee shop test?, which you might find useful).

Build a story, my friend. A story that people will embrace and share.

Is it easy? No. It takes a little creativity.

Is it possible? Yes. Very possible.

Is it worth the effort? Absolutely.

Why you need a story. From the original Mad Man was written by Jim Connolly and originally published on Jim’s Marketing Blog