It is a fact: Well written biographies and personal stories resonate with consumers.
And those of us in the travel trade have a special advantage. We get to travel a lot. The more we travel, the better our stories. Does your About Us page reflect that? After all, this is where you get to tell your story…and how well you do so can have a measureable impact on your business.
Think I’m exaggerating? Listen to what top marketers and successful entrepreneurs are saying about the art and craft of storytelling and its impact on your business.
“Personal anecdotes, tales of overcoming great obstacles, David & Goliath type stories, etc. show up on the About Us pages of company websites with good reason…and may be just the extra oomph your company needs to get ahead” says Entrepreneur magazine contributor, Jennifer Wang.
Ms. Wang quotes Michael Antonorsi, co-founder of boutique chocolate maker, Chuao Chocolatier: “Story telling is huge for our business. I like to say I went from following my ego to following my passion.”
Given the realities of the retail travel business, do you see your company as an underdog? A November, 2010 article in Harvard Business Review, titled, “Capitalizing on the Underdog Effect” states “to understand what makes underdog brands powerful, we devised online and live experiments that looked at how consumers’ self-image and circumstances affect their reaction to underdog and top-dog brands. We hypothesized that consumers not only would prefer underdog brands but would do so because they identified with the brand’s underdog characteristics. Subjects did in fact show a preference for the underdogs, most dramatically in a study involving chocolate. One brand had an underdog story: We described it as small and new, competing against powerhouses like Lindt and Godiva. The other brand had a top-dog biography, characterized by experienced founders and a big marketing budget. The result: 71% of subjects chose the underdog chocolate.”
“Good stories open doors” says Laura Rubin of LLR Consulting.
Now that we know this is powerful stuff, how do we implement these insights? Search for rich anecdotes and quirky events to spice the narrative of how you and your company made it to where you are today. Study the story and descriptions posted by competitors, then brainstorm ideas on how you might differentiate yourself.
After giving the thought to the content, write a draft of the narrative. Then enroll others in sharpening the details. People want to feel good about where and with whom they are spending their money. Well-written About Us stories can be strong contributors to a feeling of affinity for your product and service.
In the retail travel business, how well you tell your story can validate your expertise as a destination or product specialist.
Allow me to conclude by paraphrasing the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. ”The world is not made up of atoms, molecules and packaged tours. It is made up of stories!”
“What’s Your Story?” by Jennifer Wang – Entrepreneur Magazine, January, 2012 edition
“Tell to Win” by Peter Grubber, CEO of Mandalay Entertainment – a book about how purposeful stories are the best way to persuade, motivate and lead people in business.
“Capitalizing on the Underdog Effect” by Anat Keinan, Jill Avery and Neeru Paharia – in the Harvard Business Review.