The power of story

Ever heard of the Significant Objects Project?

They ran an experiment showing the power of story in marketing.

And discovered this:

People value things more when there’s a story attached to them.

What’s fascinating though is how they proved their hypothesis.

They visited thrift stores and garage sales and blew $128.74 on a bunch of items, each costing no more than a few dollars.

Stuff like:

➡️ An old hotel room key.

➡️ A miniature porcelain scooter.

➡️ A wooden apple core.

You know, really crap stuff.

The kind of stuff you wouldn’t look twice at.

Or possibly even need.

Then the researchers got some people who know how to write stories to do what they do best.

Make something up.

Which gave each object a back story.

The only condition was the tale being told had to attach significance to the object in some way.

Once that was done, the researchers listed the items on eBay.

They used the stories as the object’s description and the price paid as the auction starting price.

The winning bidder received the object, along with a printout of the made-up story.

Job done.

So, how much do you think they made?

Double their money?

Triple?

Nope.

They made $3,612.51.

Or 2700% ROI.

Which isn’t too shabby, right?

It seems stories, and how you tell them, matter.

And they seem to matter a lot.

They can transform something very ordinary…

Something practically worthless…

Into something desirable…

Something with value.

The lesson here is what good marketers have known for years:

If you can increase the perceived value of your products, people will pay more for them.

Higher prices => Better margins => Increased profit => Happy days

Is your marketing telling that kind of story?

For more details on the Significant Objects Project, click here.

Like the post but fancy something a bit longer than 295 words?

Then try my weekly newsletter. Every Friday afternoon I’ll send you one practical positioning tip – so you can make your products easier to understand, easier to remember and easier to buy.

You only need your email to subscribe.

👇

“Interesting content, good ideas, and written in an engaging way.”

Once a week, straight to your inbox.

(You only need your email to subscribe)

Nice one! 👍 A confirmation mail is on it's way. Go check your inbox. 📩

Radically simple, high concept marketing.

Once a week. In your inbox.

You only need your email to subscribe.

Nice one! 👍 A confirmation mail is on it's way. Go check your inbox. 📩

Radically simple, high concept marketing.

Once a week. In your inbox.

You only need your email to subscribe.

Nice one! 👍 A confirmation mail is on it's way. Go check your inbox. 📩