Jennifer B. Davis
As I have said before, it is critical for companies to understand what customers are paying for. Are they paying for a product with a particular warranty period or are they paying for up-time during their capitalized product life? Are they paying for software that rids their computer of viruses or are they paying for the assurance of a safe computing environment? It could be that customers value a portion of a company's offering and by streamlining the features, removing complexity, and focusing on the things that matter, companies can deliver a higher perceived value with less effort and expense.

This approach has huge implications for marketing. While facts and figures can be captured on datasheets and product copy on a Website, solutions are hard to contain in these mechanisms. When emotions (ie, trust, confidence, safety) need to be communicated, it is best done through stories. Sometimes the story is about a product and other times it is about a company. Who, in your opinion, tells the best stories?

Stories are also critical within the organization, to build alignment and motivate stakeholders. More on that later.
2 Responses
  1. Have you read the book by Seth Godin - All Marketers Are Liars : The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World. It speaks to your post. I have been reading Seth's books for the past few years and really enjoy his perspective, humor, and candor. Customers want to be told stories - and specifically stories that match their version of reality. Data sheets and specifications don't capture customers imagniation - stories do and stories are remembered. The book is an excellent read and I highly recommend.

  2. Thanks for the recommendation. The title is certainly provocative. I'll have to check it out.

    By the way, Seth has a blog at