The most powerful stories are memorable and create an emotional connection between the audience and the storyteller. Just like the best writers and filmmakers, product marketers that can tap into proven methods of story creation can effectively create product stories that better resonate with their consumers and elicit an emotional response.
Traditional stories are built on a series of key elements, such as the purpose, characters, setting, plot, and resolution. With product marketing stories, the critical elements are:
Marketing objective – It’s important to be crystal clear on what your objective is and to stick with it. Most often, it’s to move your target consumers through the purchase/usage funnel by creating brand awareness, encouraging trial, increasing consumption, etc.
Consumers and unmet need – A relatable backdrop to demonstrate your consumer’s unmet needs and allows your consumer to connect and become interested in the message
Accepted Consumer Belief (ACB) – The tension that consumers experience and creates a need for your product/brand. A solid insight grounds every strong ACB and demonstrates that you understand your consumer.
Benefit statement – A demonstration of what your product/brand does to solve their problem better than competitors or other options. This is the promise your brand stands behind. The most motivating benefits aren’t just functional – they strike an emotional chord.
Reasons to Believe (RTBs) – One or more claim-like statements that provide support for the brand promise, reducing the consumer’s risk to take the next step. This element isn’t needed in a traditional story because you aren’t asking for a commitment from the audience.
STORY ELEMENTS – TRADITIONAL VS. MARKETING
Plot centered on a conflict
Typically highlights your consumer or their unmet need, and should be relatable
Accepted Consumer Belief (ACB), which includes a tension and is grounded by insight
Benefit statement that resolves the tension with product/brand as hero
Reasons to Believe (RTBs), often in the form of claims
Similar to a traditional story, it’s important to make an emotional connection with your consumers and keep them engaged throughout the story. Otherwise, you could lose them before you story has a chance to be impactful and drive them to action.
One way we ensure our stories are on the mark is using dial testing. This diagnostic methodology is especially useful for longer stories but can be valuable for shorter ones too where every detail counts. The dial results allow us to pinpoint what in the story is resonating and what isn’t. We can then follow up with qualitative research to identify how to fix it.
Additionally, it’s important to be authentic throughout your story or you could quickly lose credibility. Don’t underestimate the valuable role a product story can play in creating a connection, demonstrating your value and building a trusting relationship with your consumers—all of which go a long way to driving their purchasing decisions.