Features versus story

What’s the difference between selling based on product features or selling based on ideas? It is leaving the customer on their own to create the story themselves, or creating it together with them.

This is my theory (borrowed to a great extent from Dan Gilbert):

    When evaluating the purchase of a product we try to imagine our future with the product, and we note the emotional reaction to this experience. This synthesizing is a result of the mind picking up fragments of previous experienced stories and events and putting them together in your own private screening of the possible future.

    Now in this process the mind is open to influence, and a strong, well directed and relevant story might help the customer focus on what’s important (to the brand), and color the perception the brain makes when synthesizing.

    Now, if left alone to focus on features, you let the customer identify their own random favorite feature and synthesize their future based on that. If you on the other hand create an idea / a story, you can help the customer envision him- or herself with your product and see the story from your best angle.

    You’re not creating a new story for them, you re merely suggesting what’s important and coloring their own synthesizing process.

    “When setting a mousetrap, always leave room for the mouse”, as the quote goes…

Some more thoughts on how the brain works.

Scott Shamberg from Experience Matter did a wonderful post on the “theater” aspect of digital marketing the other week, and posted the Mad Men: The Carousel video from youtube which excellently demonstrates the point.

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