Bimbo Banter

Story is the Ultimate Strategy

  • Leadership
  • February 5, 2015
  • by Sally Ann Moyer

02 05 15 story strategy

Here at Spaeth, we talk often about influencing through the power of storytelling. Merrie even teaches a seminar on it to MBA students at SMU Cox School of Business (where she just received her 30th Teaching Excellence Award!).

Last year, I had the pleasure of sitting in on another Cox seminar, led by Padmini Sharma of Jester & Genius LLC. She presented “Brand Story” with the emphasis on moving past transactions to building relationships and making ambassadors out of customers.

But where does a story begin? Padmini urged the students to seek out brand lovers, which are often a separate category from high-frequency consumers. She cautioned “it’s very dangerous to create stories just on observational insight.” For example, hospital employees eating in the hospital cafeteria every day does not mean the hospital cafeteria is their favorite restaurant, or necessarily even serves delicious food. It might just be the cheapest or most convenient option. That doesn’t mean they rave to their friends every day about how much they love eating in the cafeteria.

Brand lovers form a distinctive category. They are loyal, immune to competition, price insensitive and easy ambassadors. We like to form attachments that reinforce our identity. "Your brand isn’t the hero, the consumer is,” Padmini shared.

This offers a great reminder to always begin every presentation, interview or interaction of any form by asking yourself, "Who's my audience?" They're the heroes you want to hear, believe, remember and carry on your message.

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