Why Stories Sell More Products than Marketing

April 27th, 2021

“All Marketers Tell Stories.”

I was recently reminded of Seth Godin’s book with the same title the other day when I was looking at new cars…

The salesman was very polite and talkative. Which isn’t bad. He started telling all kinds of stories, and when I asked him for further information and where I can find it, based on his story, he couldn’t give me the information.

Seth says in his book, “When you find a story that works, live that story, make sure it is a true story, authentic, and subject to scrutiny.”  

If a story can’t stand up to scrutiny, as in my experience, you lose a customer and a sale. Eventually, it catches up to you.   

Seth gives an example in his book about a glassmaker. According to Georg Riedel’s message on their website, “The delivery of a wine’s message, its bouquet, and taste, depends on the form of the glass.”

Robert Parker Jr., the king of wine reviewers, said, “The finest glasses for both technical and hedonistic purposes are those made by Riedel. The effect of these glasses on fine wine is profound. I cannot emphasize enough what a difference they make.”

Perhaps thousands of others are now believers. Millions of wine drinkers around the world have been persuaded that a $200 bottle of wine or a $2 dollar bottle of wine, tastes better when served in the proper Riedel glass. 

But when the proper scientific tests were done, that eliminated any chance that the subject would know the shape of the glass, there is absolutely zero detectible difference between glasses. A $1 glass and a $20 glass deliver exactly the same impact on the wine. None.

The idea that a glass makes a difference is the story.

They sell millions of dollars worth of glasses every year. The resulting perception is that the glasses help you to enjoy your wine more than you did before drinking it in a Reidel glass.

Marketing apparently makes wine taste better. It seems that an expensive glass and the story that goes with it has more of an impact on the taste of wine than the oak casks it’s brewed in. Georg Riedel makes your wine taste better by telling you a story.

What story can you tell about your product?

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