The Secret to Apple’s Marketing Success: Storytelling

Kevin Fox explains why the best way to sell something is to tell its story:

When Apple releases a product, you know it’s released. You know its features, you know its character, you know its story, because Steve Jobs told it to you. You know whether you want it and you know how you feel about it even if it will be weeks before you actually see or touch one.

In contrast, word of a new BlackBerry, Nokia, Samsung, or just about any other phone usually surfaces on a gadget blog, followed by a few photos snapped by someone in a manufacturing plant, and maybe a leaked pricing plan on a carrier’s website.

It’s all capped by the anti-launch. A few weeks after the product shows up in stores, you might see a person or two with the new device, but you’re only likely to recognize it if you’re already in the know.

This slow leak of information means that it never has the power to get anywhere further than the mobile phone and gadget fan blogs. You, gentle reader, might know what the BlackBerry Bold is, but does your spouse/SO/child?

There’s no excitement about a launch day or a big dump of information. There’s absolutely no narrative that can be used to build desire for a product, or give you a cheat sheet on how to pitch to your spouse/SO/parent why you need this thing and it’s not just another frivolous purchase.

When you tell a story, you enable people to tell that story to others. Whether it’s at lunch, on their blog, or over a beer, people love to tell stories. It’s in our nature. So the very best thing you can do is dispense with talking points or anything else that sounds contrived, and give people something real. They’ll take care of the rest.

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