The previous example about Mel Kiper, Jr. and niche marketing was relayed through a story. Storytelling has been used to record human history long before writing was even developed. Stories are still very powerful today. You can connect with people on an emotional, mental, and even spiritual level if you learn the art of storytelling.

You may be thinking your products and services don’t have any heart-pounding, eyebrow-raising, dramatic stories surrounding them. In most cases, you would be wrong. Consider the case of the advertisement which has made more than 2 billion dollars for the Wall Street Journal. (Yes, that is billion, with a “B”.) It begins like this …

“On a beautiful late spring afternoon, twenty-five years
ago, two young men graduated from the same college.
They were very much alike, these two young men. Both
had been better than average students, both were
personable and both – as young college graduates are –
were filled with ambitious dreams for the future. 

Recently, these men returned to their college for their
25th reunion.

They were very much alike. Both were happily married.
Both had three children. And both, it turned out, had
gone to work for the same Midwestern manufacturing
company, and were still there. 

But there was a difference. One of the men was manager
of a small department of that company. The other was its president.”

The ad goes on to show that the only difference between these 2 young men was that the company president read the Wall Street Journal, and the other man did not. (Search for “Martin Conroy Wall Street Journal ad” online and read the entire ad. It’s a great example of how storytelling can be used effectively for any product or service.)

What can be more boring, less sexy, and further down your list of priorities than a newspaper subscription? However, because a compelling story was used to connect with its target audience, this short, 2 page advertisement was used for decades because it was so effective in showing the Wall Street Journal as the leading market influence for business and financial news.

In short, use stories to communicate your personal or business message whenever possible.