Product Management Intern
I love stories. I love hearing stories. I love sharing stories. It is 2017 — I like seeing them on my Snapchat and Instagram.
I write stories every single day on my blog and newsletter. I read stories every day that I find on Twitter or Medium. I hear stories every day from my friends and coworkers.
I love stories.
Products are stories too!
Creators build products to convey and deliver a message. The type of product dictates the medium in which the story will be delivered.
Some product stories are experiences → like Virtual Reality Headsets or using an iPhone.
Some are mesmerizing and addicting → like the Facebook newsfeed or social media.
I think the best brands, today, are really good at creating stories that their customers buy into. Consumers have limited attention — and we can find that they tend to spend it with brands who have narratives that they can empathize with. The best companies are cognizant of this and are always optimizing to enhance the customer experience. They are customer obsessed. Like a good movie producer, they are obsessed with crafting the perfect story to deliver to their customer.
This sounds nice and all, as well as a bit dramatic and romantic, so what tactically can you do to create a narrative around your product / company?
There are tons of things you can do to begin telling this story. The most immediate, low hanging fruit I can think of that nearly everyone could start doing, if they wanted to, tomorrow, is blogging.
There are sooo many platforms out there today to start creating content and hitting publish on there is literally no excuse for not being able to get started.
As there is so much noise out there with everyone and their families creating a blog, you want to be sure that your blog stand out. How do you do that?
First you want to optimize for a purpose and have a goal. You may want to write for a niche audience. You may want to document your journey of building a company. You may want to be writing about finance and have guest bloggers. You may want to write every line yourself.
Whatever it is — map it out. Have a narrative. Have a plan. Create a process around your workflow and search for tactical steps you and your team can take to get this up and running.
More than all of that though, you need to find ways to be real with your audience. This investment of your time and resources should not be so you can click-bait your audience into buying (and eventually churning) on your product.
This is an investment in people. Remember that: real people will be reading your blog. Empathize with them and think from their perspective…what do they want to be reading about? What is unique about your story? Why should they care? What value will they get out of this?
Few companies / products are able to answer these questions at all .. even less are able to do it well.
Lots of companies nowadays have blogs, but few tell real and transparent stories. Most blogs are there to sell — NOT create a relationship with the customer. These blogs are betting on relationships over short term sells.
Here are some of my favorite example’s of company blogs with well thought out narratives and customer stories:
Optimizing for the long term pays off…only over the long term. Do not expect to see short term results from relationship building.
The truth is that it does not matter if you are a big or small company — your narrative and customer journey is important.
Thanks so much for reading! My name is Jordan Gonen and I write blog posts every day. It would mean a ton to me if you could:
If you ever have any questions, send me an email jordangonen1 at gmail dot com ! Thanks so much!
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