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Marketing: Telling Our Stories Better

Fashion fades, Coco Chanel said. Only style remains the same.

That style translates to our brands. As businesses, as people, we all have our own brands. Everything we say, do, wear, eat, and drink goes into marketing our style, turning it into our stories, especially today with social media. When our stories — the passions that drive us — run deep, we can mine them for deeper meaning and connection to others through our lives and business.

Consider how these people and businesses turned their style into stories: An artist who brands the scent of his gallery, a wine store that becomes a high-end “farmer’s market” on Saturdays, an invitation company that holds watercoloring and lettering classes, and a catering company who opens a pop-up restaurant for one night. Photos below.

We can all find ways to tell our stories not only better, but differently. And like any story, it all begins with the word.

1. Whether crafting a blog, a marketing campaign or an event, it’s all a story. And good story telling needs a listener. Imagine your ideal listener. Keep in mind, while you are crafting your story: “Who is listening?” Then speak to them.

2. Everyone has a map of who they are. When telling your story, try to do so in a “voice” that aligns with that map. For instance, if you are marketing a Porsche, speak to that person, rather than someone who  might buy a VW. Note: If they are car lovers, they might be one in the same, but I’ve learned people can generally only hear one story at a time.

3. Be patient, build slow.

4. Magazines, whether printed or digital, all have what they call a style guide. What’s yours? Create it, live it, then tell it.

5. “Clear thinking becomes clear writing,” William Zinsser, author of On Writing Well.

6. Zinsser again … “Few people realize how badly they write. The point is that you have to strip down your writing before you can build it back up.” Isn’t this true of everything? See #6.

7. Quality over quantity.

8. Focus on certain themes that you write about, talk about, the stories you tell. Give people time to know you for this.

9. This might sound basic, but with so much vying for our attention, it’s important that your story is one that needs to be told. Before you have something to say you have to have done something. Do the work.

1o. Finally, Zinsser once again: “Simplify. Simplify.” It’s the key to everything.

Wally’s Wine in Beverly Hills and its Saturday Farmer’s Market features $1 tastes of wine, samples of gourmet vendor food and of course, produce from its restaurant vendors.

Left: Watercolor at Copper Willow Paper Studio | Right: Scent and candles from David Arms Gallery

Good Gracious! Events and its pop up restaurant at the Millwick | Photo The Good Photographer

Get Fresh March 2016
eNews March 2016

Liese Gardner

Owner, Liese Gardner Communications, Los Angeles, CA

Liese Gardner is a marketing expert working with top brands and individuals in the special events industry since 1984.