Powerful Messaging Part 2:
Who’s the Hero?
No matter how long or short it is, every successful story has three elements—a hero, a villain, and quest. Sounds great, right? But how does having a clear hero, villain, and quest apply to your products? How does it help when it comes to B2B marketing?
Watch our video to find out.
So what does it take for a story to be successful? Well no matter how long or short it is, every successful story has three elements:
- A hero, which is the person whom the story is about.
- A villain, or more specifically, conflict. This is what gets in the way of the hero.
- And a quest which the hero goes on, or as we call it, her or his passion. What is it that drives her or him?
So let’s take a look at an example.
Now we all know the story of Star Wars. Luke Skywalker is the Hero. Darth Vadar, or ultimate power, is the villain. Passion, or quest, is positivity. “The light side of the force.” But a story doesn’t have to be a saga. A story doesn’t have to start, “Once upon a time in a far off galaxy” and run hundreds of pages long. The truth is, a story can be told in just a few words. Or even in a powerful image.
A great example of this is the Ernest Hemingway tale. While drinking at the Algonquin, Hemingway was challenged to write a story using only six words. Well of course he took the challenge. His story:
For sale: baby shoes, never worn.
Pretty powerful right? A complete story in six words. But how does all this relate to marketing? How do we apply it to products? Or put a different way, when promoting a product, who’s the hero? Who’s the villain or conflict? And what is the passion or quest?
A mistake many marketers and companies make is to believe that they, or their product, is the hero. Here we come to save the day! But when thinking about the hero, it’s important to remember that those who make purchasing decisions are people first and foremost. And sorry to say, they don’t care about you. They care about their own agenda. Right? In our Star Wars example, Luke is the hero. Not his lightsaber. So, if you and your product are the hero of the story. Well—Ennnhn (buzzer sound). They don’t care. They really don’t. They care about their own needs and wants. Period.
So who needs to be the hero? Your CUSTOMERS, always!
Then who is the villain, or stated differently, what is the challenge or conflict? Contrary to what you might think, it’s not your competition. It’s the larger problem you’re out to help solve for customers. It’s how you want to better the world, or at least one person.
Once you have a clear hero and conflict, you then need to determine what is the hero’s passion or quest. Every good story has one, a hero’s journey. This is where the ‘Why you do what you do’ comes in. Sure we’re all interested in making money, but that shouldn’t be your ‘why.’ Your why needs to be more than just selling a product or service. It actually needs to embody a larger concept, a calling. It needs to answer why you and your team get out of bed every day. So when it comes to connecting with your customers or clients, values are important. People care about what you stand for, they care about why you do what you do. In fact, among consumers who have stated they have a strong relationship with a brand, 64% said it was because they had shared values.