15 Feb

It’s all about the story

I decided to take myself off somewhere – anywhere – for a few hours, this afternoon – anywhere that wasn’t in front of a screen.

I ended up in Covent Garden, and wandered into the market. There are some fascinating stalls in the market, and a vast array of talent on display; pottery, painting, glasswork, calligraphy, photography etc.
There’s also a lot of crap on display: stuff that looks great when you buy it, then you get it home and think ‘why have I bought that?’ or ‘where am I going to put it?’

Anyway, among the stalls, I found one selling crystals and various semi-precious stones, with this box at the end of the table:


The picture is a little blurry. To clarify, it’s a box of ‘fossil shark teeth’, presumably collected from beaches at various points.
Now, to take them as an object (and with a mind as cynical as mine), they’re not that impressive to an adult. Think about it: there’s an entire box full of them, and they’re ‘£2 for 3’, so – despite them being ‘135 million years old’ – how rare or valuable can they actually be?

But … take them away from their setting and present one of them to a child, as a ‘rare shark’s tooth from the age of the dinosaurs’, and suddenly they’re viewed differently.
In fact, you could tell a child;
‘Do you know where this tooth came from? It came from a giant shark, from the time of the dinosaurs, called a Megalodon. This Megalodon was hunting for food, when it got into a fight with a huge, vicious Crytoxyrhina, and they had a mighty battle in the sea.
They tumbled round and round in the water, snapping at one another.
The Megaladon managed to bite one of the fins of the Crytoxyrhina, but, in doing so, he broke a tooth.
The Crytoxyrhina swam off, wounded, and the Megalodon got the food he was fighting for.
He was so proud of his victory, and so hungry, that he forgot about his broken tooth, and the bit that broke off slowly drifted through the prehistoric seas and landed on a beach, on the south coast of England.
It sat there for over 100 million years, waiting to be discovered, until someone found it, and now it’s ended up in your hands.

It’s still the same tooth that was in that box with hundreds of others, but in a different setting, with a story behind it, aimed at a more relevant audience.

If you have a business, it’s not about the basic product or service you have – it’s about the story behind it and the audience you’re aiming at.
Pitch the right story to the right audience, across the right media channel(s), and people will buy into that product/service.

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