Story of the Man In the Arena

August 4th, 2011 08:00am CDT by Tamara Schaad
Content Writing

Copyright © Universal Pictures, et al.

by Tamara R.

I know I don’t blog a lot – most of my lack of blogging comes from being unsure of what to write about when I think “marketing.” However, I am learning more and more that I can relate to marketing through writing. Click here for an entire post by MarketingExperiments.com that talks about content being the “story” of your site.

I love a good story. It draws you, it pulls you in, it gives you an experience you wouldn’t have imagined on your own. Or for me, who is always imaging stories, it just feeds my brain and I am bounding off to more ideas.

Perhaps one of my favorite points of this post by Daniel Burstein from Marketing Experiments’ blog is his last three paragraphs. I’ll cut out a few points, just to help shorten this:

“That word – honestly – is vitally important. If you can’t compete on price, don’t try to…by being honest, you’ll become the customer’s trusted adviser, and help them appreciate the value in your offerings. Truly serving your customers during a complex purchase decision only helps to add value when you do get the sale.

The wine industry, with the complexities around wine selection, is the perfect example. There are even people whose entire job it is to help you buy wine, called sommeliers. And that’s why they can charge so much.

After all, in the end, you’re just buying old grape juice with a great story.”

Hopefully any wine connoisseurs out there aren’t insulted, but there is a great truth to this. There has always been: a product like yours, a service like yours, a company like yours, etc. You aren’t necessarily bringing anything new into the world, as much as you might like to believe it.

However, it’s how you weave it together, and how you put all the aspects of your company together, how you present your products or services, how your company handles customers, and especially how you tell your story, that makes you “new.” It makes your company “different,” “set apart,” and worthwhile to your customers.

What makes you different? Why do you stand out? In a country of commodities that are just a credit card swipe away, think about what makes you set apart and most valuable to your customers over your competitors. If you didn’t believe this, you wouldn’t be in business.

Oh, and for a closing comment, Burstein’s post also mentioned this statement that I’d never heard before, but thoroughly enjoy. It’s a great example of imagery that is highly effective in its story-telling.

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

– Theodore Roosevelt
Excerpt from the speech “Citizenship in a Republic”





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