Do you believe in God? Your Product Stories




A good story does wonders to your brand and sells your product almost irrationally.

But most products do not sell like this and there is nothing iconic in them. Their stories are either missing, or are replaced by user guides, plain vanilla customer success stories, like our widget and icons are better the other's widgets and icons


The final push, why we are better is then summarized in this Matrix Chart, us versus them, that looks like this.

This feature comparison is best tool to introduce lies and inaccuracies, and even if we are honest, our would be customers will feel cheated by the mere sight  of this table. It doesn't take an Einstein mind to see we sell product 3.

We know what a Product Story is NOT. Let's see what is it.

Emotion comes first

Do you know who Zosia Mamet, the actress from series Girls on HBO? She is featured in Forbes magazine April 4, 2016 Zosia Mamet And Evan Jonigkeit: 'The Product Is Secondary To The Storytelling'

Mamet, best known for her role on “Girls,” is the face of an experimental Kate Spade ad campaign that “encapsulates the brand’s essence,” she says. In a series of short films, Mamet plays a woman who is “quirky, kooky and is just being herself.” Much of it is improvised, where she’s says she given a script but told to “just be yourself.”

  • And it’s moving merchandise. “It’s so random. I had to pick out a pair of sunglasses and chose one because they’re cool.” Turns out, she says, all the featured merchandise in the shoot, including the sunglasses, are selling out. “They’re the ones they want to buy. It’s using a creative way to sell something that’s more enticing than just making ads (print, TV, etc.) that show this beautiful girl carrying a bag, saying, ‘You should buy it.’ People want to be told stories that they can connect to. The product is secondary to the storytelling.”

The Emotions that Make Marketing Campaigns Go Viral

This comes  from the Harvard Business Review. It shows how important the emotions are, how to measure them and see if they work. Typical Harvard business stuff: elegant, witty, thoroughly researched and quite useless to apply immediately in practice.

Here is a summary
  • When users engage with brands via content they choose, rather than content they’re given, they are more engaged with the content and the brand.
    •  Create a Viral Coefficient > 1
    •  Viral coefficient can be thought of as the total number of new viewers generated by one existing viewer. 
  •  Use strong emotional drivers to make people care and share it is important to create maximal emotional excitement quickly.
    • Hit them hard and fast with strong emotions, but remember to keep the branding to a minimum. Heavy use of branding can cause many viewers to disregard the content as spammy or salesy, resulting in loss of interest, abandonment, or even backlash.
The last bullet is brilliant.

How to select the emotions that get best viral results? Here is a sample heat map after  six month research in various emotions


This chart seems to emphasize Trust as the most important emotion.

The best product story are a collection of stories 

I found this simple statement is easier said than done. How can you have one story in a corporate culture of many employees, each one with his own emotions?

Can we create a coherent stream of emotions, depending on the audience?
Yes. According Jan Platzer, COO Apcera
Diversity as a business goal is just that – a business goal. It’s not about charity. It’s not giving a hand out. And it is certainly not to patronize.
Special care needs to be taken to avoid the “cultural fit” trap. Many companies list “cultural fit” as a top priority for hiring. To me, this means companies should hire individuals that are passionate about the company’s mission and values. To encourage diversity, “cultural fit” should not be defined as like-minded individuals that are similar in personality, background and thinking.  

The role of fiction

In a recent research Plos One
... they found that the fiction readers who were more emotionally engaged in the narrative became more empathetic over the course of the week. Fiction readers who were not emotionally engaged were less empathetic the following week, and non-fiction readers did not display these effects to a significant degree.

The Product Story author as a ghost writer 

If you like soccer, as I do and if you like Stieg Larsson Millenium Series suspense books, as I do, you may know of a Swedish soccer player names Zlatan Ibrahimovic . His book I am Zlatan sold a million copies, and  it was written by David Lagercrantz,  who will become 5 years later also the author of the book The girl in the spiders web, a huge best seller

A biography Messi, the top soccer player in the world by Luca Caioli is rather boring. Just see this review on Amazon:
This is hands down one of my favorite "autobiographies." I purchased the UK version at Heathrow back in December and could not put the book down. (I tried reading a Messi bio afterwards and it was such a snooze-fest in comparison I still haven't finished it.) I loved the book so much, I purchased the US version to see if there were any noteworthy changes. (There's not and it is definitely worth a second read.) I loved Zlatan's honest, unabashed, attitude towards soccer and life. My only criticism is that this should be available in an audiobook. I would pay good money to hear Zlatan tell the story of Zlatan. I hope Zlatan finishes up his career in the USA so we can get an additional few chapters of in a future version.
 What the reviewer does not feel, what she reads is not the real Zlatan: He is a fictional Zlatan,  a literary creation of the real player from Paris St. Germain team

Writing a book about a soccer player can not be simple. They have no time to spend reading. The ghost has to extract, infer, discover, wonder or hide  all the time

Do you believe in God?

The answer to this question resulted in a book that sold 1,000,000 copies.

Email me at miha at ahrono dot com

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