As I channel surfed the other night, I came across the Tom Cruise movie Cocktail. I’m not sure why, but Cocktail is one of those movies I end up watching for at least ten minutes every time I stumble onto it.
The premise is that Brian Flanagan (Cruise) leaves the military and goes to the big city to make his fortune. He’s unable to find a job without experience or a college degree, enrolls in business school and meets bar manager Doug Coughlin (played by Bryan Brown) who hires him.
In typical Cruise fashion, he becomes the coolest bartender of all time, tosses bottles of liquor in the air without breaking glass or spilling anything, takes 3 minutes to make one drink while dozens of bar patrons excitedly watch him and never complain. All the while, Coughlin provides cynical commentary on life.
I clicked on just as Flanagan was writing his own obituary for one of his college classes.
He makes himself a billionaire senator who died in the arms of his 7th wife who happened to be about 60 years younger.
Hey, he was writing his own life story, why not make it big?
Story telling for you and your company isn’t like Flanagan’s fake obituary. You can’t just make things up and hope people believe it. But you do need to focus on what makes you unique.
6 steps to help you build your story around your customers:
- Focus on answering your two whys: Your why or reason for being and your customer’s why or reason for buying.
- Create Personas of your Ideal Customers. What makes them tick? How do they think,feel, act?
- Make it real. Authentic. Believable. Your story has to resonate with each key target audience and match up with those personas.
- Solve it with a KISS: Keep It Strategically Simple and focus on solving your customers’ problems.
- Test. Tell. Tweak. Practice the story on friends, family and co-workers. Tell it again and again internally and externally. Tweak it based on what resonates and what doesn’t.
- Repeat. When you finally have a memorable message, remember that story telling isn’t a one time thing. You need to tell your story multiple times through multiple mediums, adjusting based on the vehicle and how your audience consumes cocktails…er content.
Our No BS Marketing Podcast gives us an opportunity to tell the stories of marketing and business leaders. If you haven’t checked it out, take a listen to the great story of Pittsburgh-based special effect artist Nora Hewit’s rise to fame through the show Face Off. If you like what you hear, subscribe and get our weekly episodes – it’s great information for business, marketing and every day.