Weekly Column: 2017-05-19

Tens of millions of Teddy Bears are produced each year and even though it is simply an ordinary sewn doll, it's the most beloved doll in the world.  The teddy bear's main purpose is to bring comfort to children and children go to sleep every night hugging this doll.  The teddy bear has become a household name but how many people really know where the name Teddy came from?

The teddy Bear was named after one of the greatest US presidents, Teddy Roosevelt. He liked to hunt occasionally, but one day, when he was on a bear hunt, he was unable to catch a bear. His assistant then caught a baby bear and suggested that the president should take it as his catch, but the president said it was not right and let the bear go. This story caused a stir with the press, and the bear doll named Teddy sold out in a flurry. Even though there are millions of people who do not know the origin of the teddy bear, it's popularity continues to grow.

This is an example of storytelling marketing that ensnares the consumer’s emotions. Although it’s just an ordinary bear doll, outfitted with the fabrics of a story, it has overcome the ordinary and become very special.  As a result, over 100 years later, it still captures the empathy and has an endearing image among consumers. Even consumers who never heard this story have a positive image of the popular teddy bear, whose name they have heard at least once in their lives.

Storytelling marketing has been around for over a 100 years, but recently it has been drawing a great deal of attention. Many companies are using this tactic to convince consumers to purchase their products or services. By using this tactic, they are connecting with consumers and receiving positive results. When they offer a simple story about their product to whimsical consumers, they are seeing the effects of good imaging and high performance.

In the past, when things were scarce, the products or services themselves could attract consumers, allowing businesses to focus on differentiating themselves through quality and price.  Now, there is a plethora of similar products and services, so quality and price, alone, are no longer sufficient in attracting the attention of consumers. Perhaps the most effective way to sway the logical consumers of today is not by differentiating with the same old tired and stiff methods of traditional marketing, but rather with storytelling marketing.  This method has proven to appeal to the emotions and empathy of the consumer.

However, storytelling marketing is not that simple. An overly ordinary story will not attract the attention of the consumer, but only attract a consumer’s distaste. Just as there is something special in everyday life, if it is a special story from an ordinary life, consumers will be able to relate to it and it may bring a deeper level of immersion and interest to your product or service. It is the charm of an ordinary photograph that draws someone's attention and is more relatable than a well-captured photograph posted on Instagram.

It is said that the keywords of the future are design, story, and relatability. Promote your unique design through a story of a fun experience that consumers can relate to and you will be able to have an advantageous position in today’s fierce competition. If the story is relatable, consumers will share it with others and if the story is constantly being told to others, the ripple effect will be immense. Hopefully, you will be able to come up with fun, special stories that fit the times, like the Teddy Bear, that transcends trends and will create a continued relatability in your marketing.