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(2008-04-24 11:49:46)








分类: BrandTips

Telling a Good Story






You may have the greatest company in the world. But if you don't know how to convey that to customers, you may as well not exist.



Every entrepreneur believes his or her business is remarkable. As I work with clients to uncover and determine brand strategies, they're always very eager to tell me about how special their business is. Most of the time, I reply by saying, "You're right. You definitely have something unique to offer, and have a good operations system in place to deliver what you promise to customers."



"Then why," they ask, "are we struggling just to stay even, let alone grow?"



"Perhaps," I respond, "you're not telling a good enough story."



When it comes to marketing your business in a powerful and meaningful way, you need to give serious thought to that which makes you stand out in a way no one else can -- your brand story. Consider some of the most successful marketers in the small-business landscape today, and check out the stories they're telling:



n         The J. Peterman Company. Yes, there really is a J. Peterman, and the reason behind the clothing company's success can be found in a quote from J. Peterman himself. "People want things that are hard to find. Things that have romance, but a factual romance, about them." You're not buying an ordinary polka-dot skirt -- you're strutting down the Boulevard St-Germain in Paris. The man's Estancia shirt tells a tale of wealth and polo ponies in Argentina. J. Peterman weaves a tale around each and every piece of clothing that is very compelling. Customers aren't purchasing outerwear; they're buying into a dream of adventure.

n         J.渔夫公司:是的,真的是一个渔夫,你会发现这个服装公司成功背后的理由来自J. Peterman他自己的话。“人们需要那些不易找到的事物。那些浪漫的事物,和他们有关的真正的浪漫。”你不是在买一件平常的圆点布料的裙子,你正阔步走在巴黎圣日尔曼大街。男士“庄园”衬衫讲述的是阿根廷财富和马球马儿的故事。Peterman为每一款衣服编织的故事都非常有说服力。消费者不是买外套,他们正在花钱进入一个神奇经历的梦境。

²        Boulevard St-Germain:法国圣日尔曼大街

²        Strut:大摇大摆地走

²        Polo:马球,阿根廷比较流行

²        Pony: 小型马


n         One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning. What is the biggest complaint about repair people? You have to wait around for hours and they're always late (that is, if they even show up). One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning took that bad rap and turned it on its ear. They don't market themselves as having "timely service." They actually guarantee "Always On Time or You Don't Pay a Dime." And they mean it. If the repairperson is not there within an hour of your appointed time, you pay nothing. Quite a powerful story, and One Hour can do it, because they have the operations system in place to back up their guarantee. It is now one of the fastest-growing franchises in the United States today.

n         一小时空调公司:什么是对维修人员的最大抱怨?你不得不等上数小时而他们总是迟到(如果他们露面的话)。一小时空公司调接受了这些斥责并记在心头。他们不标榜提供“即时服务。”他们直接表示,“总是及时,否则你不用付一个大子儿。”然后他们这样做了。如果维修人员没有在你指定一小时内赶到,你不必付钱。相当有力的故事,这个公司能做到,因为他们有安排就绪的操作体系支持他们的保证。这家公司现在是美国发展最快的特许经营商之一。


If you had to tell your story, what would it be? Would it have the right balance of fantasy, whimsy and fact? When creating your story, remember to:

如果你要讲故事,它是什么样的故事? 它是否能在幻想、离奇和事实之间恰当地平衡?当你创作你的故事时,记住:


n         Be authentic. The examples above are success stories because they draw from the "heart" of the company -- J. Peterman's love for storytelling, and One Hour's commitment to saving the customer time. Anyone can make up a story, but the customer's innate sense of authenticity is what transforms a story into a brand message. Spend a good deal of time looking back at your history and personal values in determining why you're even in the business you're in. What's your passion, and how can you tell customers about it?

n         做到可信: 以上例子是成功的故事,因为它们取材于公司的“核心”——J. Peterman喜欢讲故事,而一小时空调车承诺节省顾客时间。每个人可以创作故事,但是顾客对真实性的固有的判断是把一个品牌故事转变成品牌信息的关键。花些时间回顾你的历史和个人价值,去确定为什么你在你的行业内业绩平平。你的激情是什么?你如何对你的顾客讲述你的故事?

²        Innate:天生的,固有的

²        Even:平的

²        Whimsy:怪念头,奇想。

n         Be consistent. It's not enough just to tell a story; you must live it everyday through everything you do. I've written about the fact that every touch point of your business is a marketing opportunity. One Hour knew it had to have its operations structure in place to deliver on its promise of timeliness. From message to delivery to customer service, every element of your company has to align with your story.

n         言行一致:讲个故事还不够,你必须做每件事都体现这个故事。我说过,你业务的每个接触点都是一个营销机会。一小时空调懂得必须使它的运作体系到位以兑现其及时服务的承诺。通过客户服务传递的信息,你公司的每个元素都应该和你的品牌故事看齐。

²        Align:看齐、对齐,排成列。


The companies we call "super brands" use their unique (and sometimes personal) story to connect with customers in a way that makes them feel special; customers feel that they're in-the-know about who the brand is and what it offers. Do your customers really know you? And does the message get reinforced in everything you do? You can tell, and deliver on, a good story, even on the smallest of marketing budgets. It's a remarkable marketing strategy for a remarkable business -- yours.


²        in-the-know:知情的


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