We believe things that aren’t true because we sell ourselves different stories. I’ve sold so many stories to myself over the past 30 years that I’ve lost track of them all. The thing is, lying doesn’t pay off any more. That’s because when you tell a story that just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, you get caught out fast. The way I see it is that in marketing we can choose between two bridges; one bridge is where we can create a fake story (a lie) and communicate a message to sell something, and the other bridge is where we share our authentic story, make an impact and sell something. Most marketers and small business owners are just used to lying to themselves and that’s why they create campaigns that shout quality, best price, market leading, trustworthiness and so on. I’ve come to understand that we are all on different levels and have a different way of thinking.
If we advertise that our products are high quality it already means that they are not, if we have to advertise that we are leaders then we are not; it’s all insecurities and ego boosting. The majority of social media and advertising online and offline is ego-boosting; have a look around and notice all the billboards shouting at us saying that we are missing out in life and their product is so good that it will make our life easier. There are small businesses that are so focused on what they do that they forget to take the time to describe the story of why they do it. If you are doing something that matters, really matters, then I hope you’ll take the time and tell an authentic story.
Authentic storytelling is not about tactics, it’s a new way of doing business. Either we are going to tell authentic stories that spread or we will become irrelevant.
Marketing had a great run. To grow a brand all you had to do was to create a new advert that generated demand – and then make something to sell. Average products were sold for significant markups because of good advertising. This was the age of mass market, when all consumers were equal and you could sell anything to everything. Today, everything has fallen apart. As consumers, we realized that we don’t trust commercials, we don’t watch them as we have so many options to watch something that we truly want and something that we truly care about. At the same time, marketing now is more powerful than it has ever been. We have amazing opportunities where we can share authentic stories and engage with our customers on a personal level.
The point I’m trying to make is that with authentic stories we can create amazing things and what matters most is that if we have something great to tell, we should, but if we are just manipulating people it’s not going to last. It’s simple as that – we all make choices; either we research and learn about storytelling and content, or we stay as we are and continue to throw thousands and millions into advertising telling people how great we are until we run out of budget. We as human beings don’t want more facts, we want more stories. We want more emotion in our lives because we are losing personal touch with our friends and loved ones. This is the opportunity I see; not a lot of brands are doing it and the few who are doing it are winning and growing.
Here at IQD we are looking for passionate people who want to create authentic brand stories. We are looking for new clients that care about what they do and want to go beyond their own expectations. We are looking for clients that believe in a better tomorrow. You can get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 00357 22101935.