This was something that I wrote in January 2013. I came upon it today and enjoyed re-reading it. I thought that it made sense to share it here. It wasn’t meant for publication when it was written.
I am hoping to capture a feeling. I am reading what I wrote about storytelling yesterday. The idea of creating a sense of what the product or brand creator wants to impart to the customer base is a good one. It is what I think is valuable about storytelling, writing, or using media to shape emotions that are related to the product or entity.
The feeling that I want to capture though is the feeling that I want to feel while creating this written content – the story. I would like to become immersed in the thoughts and emotions of a great experience. It can be as simple as the taste of wonderful coffee for Starbuck’s. Or perhaps a great experience driving a Fiat 500 or VW Beetle. These are not factually based. They are more about the cognition of feelings – good feelings.
This sort of writing and collaboration is premised upon a positive emotion. It is a contradiction to the terrible and extreme negativity of our lives today. It is a counterbalance to those messages of despair. Writing these positive and uplifting messages would be a happy experience, at least the way that I view things.
How much of this can be applied with good effect to more mundane brands and products? What can be said about less refined products or services than those created by billion dollar organizations? It depends I think.
I really like using PDF files. I like them because they can be developed and reused countless times. They don’t show age or get wrinkled or dirty as sales tools. They can be updated easily and changed to reapply them to multiple product offers.
PDF files can be tacked onto emails with ease. They can be used in websites as sales tools or to make technical information available to the customers. They can contain a mountain of information, or a simple one page presentation.
There is no business that couldn’t find significant value using PDF files to tell their story and to support the business model.
Recently I have been contemplating the use of a few of my proposals and the various images that I captured and used to promote additional sales. I hesitate only because what I was promoting was slightly different from what many small business owners are selling. My business was in commercial contracting, and I specialized in decorative stone, granite, terrazzo, and ceramic tile. Our promotions were directed at large scale developers, owners agents for government agencies, and construction managers on a regional scale (multi-state).
I will try to post a couple of these and see if I can walk through the thinking and also why I think that there are lessons within those efforts that scale to smaller businesses and businesses that are vastly different then this.
It seemed important to create this post as a prequel to what’s to come. I’d like to emphasis that we should be looking at how to take ideas from these proposals, rather than over-think the particulars of that singular business model.
Showing up is 80% of life, according to Woody Allen.
Thought of a little differently, we might say that 80% of success is showing up. It’s only a truism, but the thought does get to an important point needing no additional explanation.
When applied to the development of additional business revenue and customer traffic the thought comes down to a simple question: Are you doing all you can to grow your customer relationships and your footprint in the minds of your potential customer base? Or: Are you even trying? Are you “showing up” for the sales effort?
Small business almost never will have the time or the finances wanted for the task. It gets postponed until sometime in the future.
What I propose is that simple repeated messages about the business, laced with affirmations of trust, sometimes humor, and always with a positive tone, will build a sure foundation for the business. These messages can be on a napkin, a flyer, or a menu board. They can occur on a website or as part of the sales receipt. They can occur in a written sales proposal, or the back of a business card.
It isn’t vital that the story is unique, or witty, or highly polished. What matters most is showing up. I’d like to help with that.