How to Build Marketing Momentum With Your Storytelling Flywheel

My mom, Pat, turns 99 years young today. She is doing amazingly well and is as sharp as ever.

Don’t even try to beat her and her girlfriends at Hand & Foot. They’re card sharks and they relish destroying you at her kitchen table.

Five years ago, when I was visiting her in Seattle, the FedEx man showed up with a package.

I signed for it and handed it to Mom. I said, “Mom, check out the FedEx logo.”

She looked at it and said, “Yeah? So?”

“Do you see the arrow in the logo?”

“What arrow? Oh, wow. I had never noticed it before.”

Earlier this year when I was up there, she said, “Park, whenever I look at the FedEx logo I now see that darned arrow. It jumps right out at you.”

“I know,” I said. “Once you’ve seen it you can’t unsee it.”

“Do you want to play cards?” she asked.

My mom also gave us kids the love of playing golf. I think she played until she was like 85.

I watched the PGA Phoenix Open on TV earlier this year and was struck by FedEx’s powerful storytelling in their new ad campaign called “Tall Tales of True Deliveries.”

The FedEx Storytelling Flywheel

Since 1978, FedEx has been known as the overnight delivery service when your package absolutely, positively has to be there overnight. That was their unique value proposition and what they became known for:

When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.

As most brands do, they dicked around with their UVP changing their first tagline fifteen times with stuff like:

  • “Our most important package is yours” (1991–1994)
  • “The way the world works” (1996–1998)
  • “Be absolutely sure” (1998–2000)
  • “Relax, it’s FedEx” (2004–2008)
  • “The world on time” (2009-to whenever)

But guess what, over 45 years later they’ve landed on what they’re actually known for.

Their “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight” UVP but truncated to “Absolutely, Positively.”

FedEx processes around 16 million shipments per day with an annual revenue in excess of $84 billion dollars.

Over 35,000 companies use FedEx as a shipping and fulfillment tool.

So when they’re running ads on the PGA tour broadcasts, you know they are targeting business executives more than regular consumers.

But they take a decidedly emotional storytelling approach sharing their real-world delivery experiences making their B2B marketing dramatically more compelling.

By the way, FedEx invests 20 million dollars annually in their advertising.

There is nothing like a true story about the real-world impact you and your company make for the people you serve so your brand becomes immensely more likable.

Then, like FedEx, when you deliver on the promises made in your storytelling, you become vastly more trustworthy and your customers share your story with their world, just like I’m doing here.

And your “Know, Like & Trust” Storytelling Flywheel absolutely, positively gains traction and momentum leading to the most powerful form of advertising. You guessed it, FREE word-of-mouth marketing that propels your storytelling flywheel increasing your marketing momentum.

What are you and your brand known for to attract your ideal customer?

How do you increase your likability through the stories you tell to increase engagement in your brand?

What promises in your stories do you deliver on to become the trusted leader in your market? (I hope all of them).

How do you help your customers share your story with their world?

Learn how to activate your “Know, Like & Trust” Storytelling Flywheel as I walk you through it on this special edition of the Business of Story podcast:

Oh, and Pat got her Azalea today from me. This has been my annual gift for over 40 years to celebrate her birthday and next week’s Master’s Golf Championship, which she will be watching with great pleasure.