I butted into a conversation in the office last week that went something like this:
Guy 1: “Insurance is such a waste. And expensive.”
Guy 2: “I know. And the value of my bike keeps going down, but I keep paying more insurance. So kak.”
Me: “You know King Price offers paying less every month, right? That’s basically their biggest selling point.”
Guy 1 + 2: <crickets>
Now, maybe it’s because we deal with insurance firms a lot, or I have a strong affinity to people/organisations changing things up, but I honestly thought that something as ground-breaking as ‘you pay less insurance every month as your vehicle depreciates’ would be known and understood by every person who complains about insurance premiums. Seems, to me, to be a no-brainer. The story is sound.
Which made me think about other organisations and how they’re telling their stories. “Brand refreshes” – for the most part – are only real big winners for consultants and the advertising/marketing industry. Customers don’t want a big fat new promise every second year, what they want is for you to be awesome. Let me pay you money to do a great job, and we’ll be friends. Simple. One of the big lessons from Tom Peters’ “In Search of Excellence” (originally published in 1982, FYI) is simply “Stick to your knitting”. Do what you do well, and keep doing it. Companies who stick to this principle in not only the work they do, but the message they deliver, are the ones who succeed.
Am I saying ‘never change’? Of course not. Better yourself, better your product, but always stick to what you believe in. Things change and need to be addressed as and when necessary (read Legacide to help you out with that) but that doesn’t mean you should lose the fundamental essence of what you’re in business to do. The way that message sticks with your customers and staff is through a solid story.
Because a great story lasts a lifetime. Ever met Aesop? Nope, me neither. Know any of his stories? Of course we do. Why? Because they’re easy to remember, and easy to share with others.
So, is your story being told enough? Are you hitting the right market? More importantly, is your story being told the right way, and are people sharing it?
(Originally posted on LinkedIn)