Few years ago, I was on a queue to buy a plane ticket.

The woman in front of me was talking to the ticket agent, this was when you only could buy your ticket by physically going to the ticket counter, not online like we do today.

She says to the ticket agent: “I’m flying to Cape Town, can I have a first class ticket please.”

The ticket agent responds: “That’s great, unfortunately, the plane is not that big and so there is no first class.”

The women then freaks out: “I have go clusterphobia, and acrophobia and I paid extra and I need to be first class and I’m never going to be able to get on this plane.”

So she throws a whole big tantrum.

Usually what happens in an industrialised service centre like this is that ticket agent will roll her eyes and tells you about the rules and ignores your tantrum.

Instead the tickets agents turns around and says to the woman:

“Oh no no no, I’m so sorry Ma’am, the entire flight is first class, you will be fine.”

Problem solved.

The thing is, nothing about the plane changed, what changed was the story of the plane, what changed is that the woman felt like she was heard.

Sometimes what matters is not changing the product, but changing the story about the product.

When RCA introduced radio as this new cool piece of technology, talk about a game-changer…. Nobody buys it.

People saw this thing as a big box taking up space in their living room and they didn’t want it.

As a result, radio was a big flop when it was first introduced.

When David Stainhoff of RCA took over, he changed the story around radio from this big box in your living room, to a form of a cool device that brings live entertainment and sporting events right in your living room.

Instead of missing out on a great boxing match because the tickets are too expensive or the match is sold out, you are able to enjoy the boxing match live in the comfort of your living room.

Framed this way, radio becomes this run-away success.

People buy stories more that they but facts and figures about a product.

The story around the product is equally as important as the product.

Merge the story around the product.

Merge emotion and logic.

Don’t give them 4, give them 2+2.

Tell the story around the product.


2 thoughts on “Once upon a time…

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