The Hero's Journey - Storyselling Products or Services
Whether your eCommerce business thrives or not highly depends on your story-telling and story-selling capabilities. Not only are you responsible for understanding and telling your customers’ stories, but you’re also equally responsible for telling the story of your products and services.
One way to ensure you’re telling the right story about your products is to create a product story. A product story can help you in the development and design process, your marketing strategy, and sales approaches.
So first, let’s understand the benefits of a product story before guiding you through how to create a product story of your own.
The Hero's Journey - A Product Story
The Benefits of a Product Story
A product story defines the inner workings of your product and how your customer engages with that product. In other words, it details how your product works but also how the way it works impacts your customers’ lives.
One benefit of a product story is that it helps you visualize how to develop, market, and sell the product effectively, by personalizing the hero’s journey for different product use cases (differing audience personas). If the product story is created well, reflecting the customer’s pain points and desired outcomes (use case context), and implemented into the above processes, it can increase your profits and improve your customer relationships.
And what about when you need to go a different route with your product? When it’s time to make changes due to changing customer tastes for example, a story map can help you stay focused on the overall vision you have for this product or service. For example, your company should always have a business continuity plan that will ensure your product makes it to the other side of an unexpected event. A good continuity plan will take into account everything from your employees to the products and services you provide to customers, and including your product story in this plan is key to making sure everyone is on the same page about those items when a crisis strikes.
A product story helps you identify not just the functions and features of the product that are most valuable, but the emotional connection a customer has with the product and their own story that has been created around the product.
Ultimately, a product story can help you map out a product’s life and how your current and potential customers engage with it.
How to Create a Product Story
Creating a detailed product story requires extensive research, creative thinking, and attention to who your customer is and how your product relates to them. Answer the following three questions to develop a complete and engaging story around your products and services.
Who is your customer?
You can have the best product in the world, but if you don’t know who you’re selling it to, why, and how, chances are the product’s lifespan will be short. When you know the ins and outs of who your customer is, you can create a customer-centric product story.
So, begin getting to know your ideal customer by creating buyer personas. Answer questions like:
- What is their demographic information? Age? Location? Work? Income level?
- What are my customers’ most prominent pain points?
- How do they go about researching solutions to these pain points?
- How would your customer use your products?
- How would they buy your products?
- What are their buying behaviors?
- What makes them abandon their cart?
- What content do they engage with most?
- What digital platforms are they most active on?
- How would they become a loyal customer?
- What emotions prompt a purchase?
All in all, your product story should be created with the feelings and behaviors of your customers at the forefront. In other words, you can tell your product’s story better when you know how your customers would interact with it internally and externally.
In addition to knowing who your customer is, you must know your product just as thoroughly.
What is your product?
It’s equally important to understand the ins and outs of your product. Without a thorough knowledge of your product, you’ll be unable to create a complete product story that motivates customers to make a purchase. Your product story should include details about what your product is beyond its features.
Answer the following questions about your product, and any more you can think of that will help you form a complete picture of your product for your story:
- What are all of its features?
- How do you use those features?
- What are you selling it for?
- Is it a multi-use product?
- How do customers feel when they use your products?
- What pain point does it solve?
- Why did you create this product?
- What’s the product’s history?
Once you’ve established who your customer is and the details of your product, you can move the story forward with how these two things meet.
How do the two meet and live happily ever after?
Once you’ve learned details about your customer and solidified product details, you can visualize exactly how your customer engages with your product from the first interaction and beyond.
Document how your customer is introduced to your product, purchases it, and becomes a returning customer. Also, be sure to share the emotions associated with each experience and how that impacts the product’s longevity. That’s where to story about your product truly lies.
Ultimately, your product story should be cohesive, clear, and engaging. Start with studying who your customer is and what your product is all about. Then, detail how your customer and product meet and live happily ever after to wrap up your product story.
Of course, a great place to insights into your customers interests and motivation is Customer analytics with Conversific.