Park Howell

#421: Heroes: How to Understand Your Customers to Build a Tribe

#421: Ch. 2, Heroes: How to Understand Your Customers to Build a Tribe

If you’ve ever attended one of my ABTs of Business Storytelling mastery courses, then you know the two major audience paradigm shifts I preach to connect deeply with the people you want to move to action.

  1. Your brand story is not about what you *make* but what you make happen in your customer’s life. Outcomes trump offerings in your stories every time.
  2. Your brand story is not about *you* but about your customer, they are the center of your story. You play the more important role of their mentor or guide.

But many people – even seasoned marketers – get this wrong because they are so enamored with their product or offering that their navel-gazing stories all about themselves and their product or service lead to their demise.

It reminds me of the cautionary tale of Narcissus. His story is the lead paragraph in chapter 2 of Brand Bewitcherywhich is all about prioritizing your audiences and what it is they wish for and want from you.

Do you know it?

Narcissus was a brave hunter and unabashedly handsome. One day he was walking in the forest when the mountain nymph Echo saw him and fell deeply in love with him. Narcissus felt the presence of Echo and called out, “Who’s there?” Echo, in hiding, repeated, “Who’s there?” This exchange went on for days, which intrigued and, as you might imagine, slightly annoyed Narcissus.

Then one day the shy Echo revealed herself and expressed her love for him. But Narcissus rejected her outright. She fled, embarrassed and heartbroken, spending the rest of her life in lonely glens until nothing but a distant echo remained of her. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, learned of Echo’s slight and set out to punish Narcissus for his callousness. Nemesis lured him to a pool, where he was greeted by his magnificent reflection.

Transfixed by his image, Narcissus sat by the pool for days, staring at himself. When he realized his love could never be achieved, he committed suicide. The lesson found in the story of Narcissus is this: Don’t fall prey to your ego. Selfies, for instance, can be fun and are often intoxicating. But they can reflect poorly on you, too.

Your Nemesis might turn your unflattering pic on you, making it viral, echoing forever through the glens of the Internet.

In this week’s episode, I will walk you through chapter 2 of Brand Bewitchery. This second step in the 10-step Story Cycle System™ explores who you and your brand are for.

I hope you don’t think you’re for everyone. Because you know the old saying, “If you’re for everyone you’re for no one.”

Listen to the episode, do the quick exercise, and say hello to your #1 audience, that group of brand evangelists that represent probably 80% of your revenue (See the Pareto Principle).

Discussed in this episode:

  1. How to identify your primary audience to amplify your impact and simplify your life.
  2. Coca-Cola case story: How to segment your audiences and invite them in with the correct brand story.
  3. Creating insightful customer persona’s using the Story Cycle System™


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