How To Unlock Your Product Stories To Increase Sales

7 Types of Content Marketing Product Stories

Unlock content marketing product stories Did you know that the stories you create and tell about your products entices shoppers to buy them and, even, pay more for them?

In the Significant Object Project, Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker found that creating a story about a cheap product enhanced its value. Specifically, they generated $3,612.51 in sales from $128.74 of product.

Recently, my husband and I visited Aaron Faber on West 53rd Street, one of the top watch stores in New York City. The store features top of the line watches along with beautiful one of a kind jewelry by a select handful of artisans. Content Marketing Product Story-History
What makes the watches and jewelry at Aaron Faber different from what you’d find on West 47th Street, New York’s diamond and jewelry district?

Each piece has its own story that enhances its value, especially the vintage watches and jewelry. Unlike the diamond district, the watches and jewelry aren’t mass produced.

Additionally, expensive hand crafted watches are often numbered, to distinguish them. Each watch has a history and a certificate. This provides the beginnings of a story.

While we were there, Mr. Faber showed us a vintage Zenith pocket watch from the late 1920s. The watch was enhanced by the story of its origin and the differences in the numbering. (Sorry—I didn’t get a photo of this watch!)

3 Reasons to use product stories in your content marketing

Use stories to attract your target audience and make your products memorable.

  1. Create stories about your products that make them stand out and appear different from competitors and near substitutes. Find ways to describe how your product is unique, even if it’s mass marketed. It also helps enhance the value of the product.
  2. Gather the stories about your products across a variety of attributes. Stories make people care about your products.
  3. Tell the story in a way that reflects your brand. This means the words and voice that you use to tell the story.

7 Types of content marketing product stories

Use these 7 different product attributes to help you to create stories that make your product stand out and make buyers purchase them. There are questions to help you craft your specific stories. (BTW—Here are 29 places to look for story inspiration within your organization.)  Unlock content marketing product stories

1. Showcase the people who produce your product

People connect with other people. If they feel a bond with the person or people who created your product, it helps sway them to purchase from you.

Post’s Honey Bunches of Oats features employees from their production line talking what it’s like making cereal. This ad spotlights a production employee talking about how she smells so sweet after her shift that the scent attracts attention.

Questions to answer to create content marketing product stories:

  • Are the people behind your product part of your story? If so, do they embody your brand? Can your target audience relate to them?

2. Highlight where your product is made

Shoppers may be willing to pay a premium based on where your product is manufactured. The more special you make your product appear, the more a segment of customers will like it.

Eataly an Italian food emporium and restaurants in New York and Chicago, attracts shoppers and sightseers alike. Instead of your low priced Trader Joe’s olive oil, you can pay $50.00 or more for a small bottle from Italy.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil-Eataly

Questions to answer to create content marketing product stories

  • Where does your product and materials come from? Does this make them stand out? If so, how and what does this mean for your buyers?

3. Tell how your product is made

Is your product distinguished from its competitors based on how it’s made? This works well for products that are produced in small or limited batches.

Take a page from visual artists and number your product to make it even more valuable. Depending on how you’re selling your product you may be able to get people to bid up the price.

Kelt, a cognac, is such a product. Unlike other cognacs it’s put into oak barrels that are loaded onto ships where they travel around the world sloshing in the barrels. This makes a great story and gives the drink a unique taste.  Content Marketing Product Story-How Produced

Each bottle of Kelt comes with the story on a tag around the bottleneck. While wines and liquors have different tastes depending on how they’re distilled. With Kelt, the story enhances the experience.

Questions to answer to create content marketing product stories:

  • Do you do something difference from other producers of your product? This is where the special recipe or secret ingredient can be useful.
  • Is your product handmade or one-of-a-kind? If so, can you increase your price due to the stories of their makers? Often, craft collectives attach the name, photograph and/or story of the craftsperson.

4. Explain how your materials are different

Go into most grocery stores and you’ll see this type of product story at work for organic products, especially produce. You pay more to ensure that they’re free of certain pesticides and other hormones.

Questions to answer to create content marketing product stories:

  • How do your main ingredients vary from those of your competitors or the products your target market usually buys? Are they rare or old?

5. Let prospects know what inspired your product

This works well for handmade and licensed product.

For example, Uniqlo’s Fifth Avenue store is around the corner from MoMA. They have collaborated on a series of t-shirts inspired art at MoMA. Content marketing Product story-licensed product

Questions to answer to create content marketing product stories:

  • Did something special inspire your product? Ask your product designers for their input.

6. Give buyers the story behind your product’s name

This is important for luxury products. The name of the brand or designer enhances the value and cost of the object.

Many clothing designers work their name or initials into their product so that when you use it, other people know that it’s an expensive designer piece.

By contrast, my husband and I met a watch salesman in Montauk who sold Nixon watches. Despite Richard Nixon’s history, he told us that they had tested various brand names for their young target market and “Nixon” won. (They’re the opposite of watches from Aaron Faber.) Nixon Watches

Questions to answer to create content marketing product stories

  • What is the story behind your product’s name? It can be your brand’s specific name or the category’s name.
  • What associations does your product name have? Do any of these yield positive stories?

7. Tell your product’s history

This content marketing product story tactic is particularly important for pre-owned (aka used) items. (Note: This doesn’t always apply to cars.) The story and associations can add to its value.

You can broaden product history stories to include the product category more broadly.

Watch Antique Roadshow to get an idea of how to enhance your products with stories and their true past.

Levi Strauss jeans are an example of a product that has a history regarding how rivets were added to the pants to reduce the wear at stress points in the product.

Questions to answer to create content marketing product stories:

  • What stories are associated with your product and how your firm came to produce it?

 

To enhance your products, unlock the stories associated with them to enable your prospects to remember and have connections with them.

Use these 7 product story elements to find the stories that resonate best with your audience.

How do you find the stories associated with your product?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


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  • Mariia babchenko

    Dear Heidi,

    I’ve been following your blog for several months and I’ve been always finding there plenty of ideas, tactics and methods ready to be applied to my marketing practices. These new product story creation tips are particularly useful to me since I’m currently doing rebranding of my company and searching for a proper explanation of this strategic move to our customers. Thank you for your great work and greetings from Cyprus!

    Mariia