The Marketing Power of Origin Stories

When I was a corporate consultant, one of the most interesting exercises I ever encountered was the “reason for existence” test.

You see, ginormous companies aren’t always as stupid as everyone says they are.  Before most of them will spend $50,000,000 on developing and advertising a new product, they force their management to articulate a very clear “reason for being”… they’ve got to justify WHY such a product should even exist.  (It’s kind of like when the bouncer makes you prove yourself to him at the bar “if you want to live”)

The point is, your prospects all know you’re in this for the money.

In fact, they know there are THOUSANDS of products on the market, each one of them eager to grab a few bucks from your prospects’ wallets/purses.

So WHY, they ask, do you have a right to exist?

WHY did you bring this product to market?

What possible reason on earth did you have for introducing yet another money grabbing effort?

That’s what you have to overcome.

And one of the BEST ways to do so is with an ORIGIN STORY.

An ORIGIN STORY provides the details behind your product.  It tells how the particular point of difference you’re trying to bring to market was “birthed in the fire” amidst a sea of mediocrity, charlatans, and scams.

More importantly, it brings the product to life by demonstrating the FIRST RESULTS ever obtained, AND THE PASSION WHICH DROVE THEM.

It proves you’re more than a man/woman with a cash register and your hand outstretched…

You’re a “man/woman on a mission!”

Listen to this intriguing interview (the first in a series) where Ryan and I discuss several concrete examples of origin stories, and begin to show you how to construct your own!

What’s your product/service’s reason to exist?

It’s something few people give much thought to, yet it’s utterly foundational for your marketing power.


Dr. G 🙂

PS – Can I get something off my chest?  I’m really annoyed at how few people want to give  CONVERSION the emphasis it deserves.  Social Media’s the hot thing these days, and if I were to take this to heart and “give the market what it wants”, I’d be blogging and podcasting all about Facebook and Twitter all the time.  Except I have trouble finding anyone who’s making serious money in social media… at least not anyone who can prove it to me with tracking.  On the other hand, EVERYONE I know who’s relentlessly focused on conversion has been able to build their business.  Because CONVERSION is the fuel that drives traffic online.  Drives me fricking nuts.  Makes me want to slap myself on the head with a spatula!  Hard.  So many people are wasting so much time, money, and morale.  (Terry Dean and I spent a year building the ultimate web-conversion product, not that too many of you will care.  Oh well, I guess that leaves more traffic, money, and fun for us!)