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How to Generate Attention

Natalie Ediger, October 7, 2015· Digital Learning

“How to Generate Attention” is the fourth part of our storytelling series. You can read the first part here: Of children’s cassettes and cave paintings, the second part here: Stories are not children’s stuff and the third part here: No Pain, No Gain

The right pain

Good stories always have a pain or conflict. Conflict is the reason why we are gripped by a story, why we identify with the hero, why we want to know more about a product. But how do you find the right pain for your business? That can be – depending on that – a little tricky.

Get to know your product

Sure: If you are a detergent manufacturer, finding a paint is no big deal. As Jonathan Gottschall wrote in his famous book “The Storytelling Animal”: “A commercial rarely just says that a laundry detergent works well; it shows that it does through a story about an overworked mom, rascally kids, and a laundry room triumph.”

Or even if you want to produce and sell bandages – to take banality to the extreme – you have hardly any problems finding the right pain. (A child with open knees, e.g.)

It gets more difficult when the purpose of a product is clear but you want to stand out from the competition. Just think of all the different manufacturers of cars. Of course, a car takes us from A to B… But why should Mr. X choose THIS ONE brand exactly? What makes this one brand better than all the others?

Creativity is King

Creativity is called for here: The right pain can be the deciding factor in a match and the argument that ultimately convinces the potential buyer.

The first step to a good Pain seems to be simple: You have to know your product inside out. Only if this is the case do you have the chance to provoke an emotional reaction from your audience later on. Simple enough, you think? Well, you’re partly right… You know exactly what you can do with your product, what the benefits are and who might be interested. But “knowing” means much more here.

It is about whether you know on which emotional level your product “touches” the customer. What it should trigger in him. What your customer associates the product with when he comes into contact with it.

That makes it more difficult.

Example „Krauthentic“

We want to take a closer look at the whole thing using an invented but vivid example:

The startup “Krauthentic” specializes in instant sauerkraut. Their latest product is ingenious: Krautcup. This is sauerkraut in a plastic cup that heats itself within seconds by pulling a tab.

A great product. Unfortunately, this is no guarantee for success. Krauthentic’s marketing department now has to think skilfully about how to sell the new invention. You’re under a lot of pressure because tens of thousands of Krautcups have already been produced – a failure would be fatal for the young company.

The birth of a hero

The decision was made to inspire potential customers with storytelling. You need a good pain that appeals to as many customers as possible.

And here comes the flash of genius: many people today are stressed by their work and often travel on public transport. The hero decides to construct a rushed businessman who has to commute for two hours a day and therefore has hardly any time to cook something sensible. A large number of people can identify with this.

With a friendly, generous grandmother as a “mascot”, you also create a feeling of security for the customer. With the help of Krauthentic, the hero can have a delicious snack at his fingertips in spite of work and pendulum stress, which will take him back to his carefree childhood.

The company’s marketing presence is now largely based on these two components. Krauthentic thus manages to reach customers on several emotional levels. Success is now within reach.