Make your brand story your customer’s story

“He wanted to take his clothes off and rub his naked body all over the demolition robot.”

That is the story Mike Martin shared with us about one of his customers.

“He was THAT passionate about his BROKK,” he said.

Mike is the Vice President of Operations for BROKK, Inc., a Swedish manufacturer of remote control demolition equipment. He began the company’s North American Sales division in 1997 in Monroe, Wa, and has grown it to an enterprise of more than 25 million in annual revenue.


When selling, Mike doesn’t focus on the features and benefits of the product. Rather, he and his team share stories about his other customers and the robust businesses the product has made possible in their lives.

Most BROKK owners are small to mid-sized construction and demolition contractors. The product allows them to dramatically increase their productivity, reduce the cost and risk to laborers on jackhammers, and execute precision demolition in confined spaces.


It’s not what you make, but what you make happen

Mike’s sales success is found in how he transfers the brand story to the customer so they can make it their own: they can see themselves operating a BROKK to grow their business. And when they try it for the first time, they feel that exhilaration of advancing their capabilities through technology and reducing the risk to their employees, which leads to repeat sales as their business swells.

When we were working with Mike on the BROKK brand story strategy, one of the ways we depicted the versatility of the machine was through this ad.


I recall showing the ad to the BROKK sales and marketing team in Skelleftea, Sweden, and their uniquely Scandinavian engineering rational left brains argued: “But that is not what our product looks like.”

We had to explain the visual storytelling technique we were using of fun and surprise to convey the versatility of the demolition machine that could tear down, break up and devour anything in its path.

Its Transformer octopus-like features stood out in the visually crowded construction and demolition magazines the ad ran in, which made the phones in the BROKK sales department ring like crazy.

The ad is still in use today, 15 years later.

Control the motion of the sale through the stories you tell

mike-martin_episode-art600-copyMike now handles operations for BROKK for all of North, Central and South America. You can hear his approach to business storytelling on this episode of the Business of Story podcast.

“Selling is about controlling the conversation and controlling the motion of the deal. You’re the expert on the product. Stay the expert. Move that direction, and always be asking questions that are basically pointing out the features and the benefits.”

“It’s really important to transfer your story to their story,” he added.

The success of BROKK’s business storytelling can be seen in its 200 percent growth on the heels of launching the campaign in 2001. And Mike shares that getting their brand story straights has been critical to growing the company as the #1 manufacturer and distributor for remote control demolition equipment in the world.

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What stories are you telling to demolish your competition? That was the premise, by the way, that inspired this impactful ad.

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Just another example of how you after own your brand story before anyone else will buy into it.

Story on!