Whenever I advise people how to "sell," I give them this single bit of advice: Tell a relatable story. Appeal to their emotions, and the message sticks so much more than, "Buy my stuff, now." When you tell a story, people want to follow it. They remember stories and relate you and your brand to that story.

So who is doing some great story telling about their products these days? Here are three:

If the Apple ad that ran this holiday season didn't give you a lump in your throat, well, you just might be the Grinch. A young girl finds an old recording (a 45!) of her grandmother singing a love song to her grandfather before he left for the military. She uses Apple to digitize the song using Garage Band, then records a "duet" with her own voice alongside her grandmother's. Then she leaves it with headphones on the kitchen table with a note to her. Grammy wakes up, listens to it and starts sobbing joyful tears. Really? I'm sobbing just writing about it. This story appeals to both young and old, men and woman and it made Apple look just great not to mention over 3 million views on YouTube!

Even more genius? They created a video of a story about making the commercial that got over 200,000 views!

2. Dodge

Dodge is also resurfacing with some great storytelling, all about John and Horace Dodge, how they started the company and where the company is today.

You might be surprised (I was!) that the Dodge brothers worked for Henry Ford and that they split from him because they wanted more quality in their work and wanted their employees treated well. The story shows two hard-working successful brothers who would be proud of what their company has turned into today. Spiked with a bit of fun, they show the brothers from 1914 driving a Challenger 100 years later trying to beat each other on the road. We learn from it, it's fun, we are drawn to it and Dodge makes us feel good again.

3. YOU! Or a cool local artist names Mark Ulriksen

Great storytelling doesn't have to come from an Apple or a Dodge. I got an email from a local artist here in San Francisco whose work I really like, Mark Ulriksen. Mark paints covers for New York Magazine and a host of other publications and books. And if there's a picture of the San Francisco Giants needed for an article, many turn to him because he's good and he's passionate about the team.

So I'm intrigued, and open that email. What comes next was astonishing. A story of how his new painting of the 2014 World Series Champs came to be, stage-by-stage with how he felt about it at each stage.

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 11.42.49 AM

So it's not only big brands that can tell a story. If you're passionate about what you do (and you wouldn't be in business if you aren't), then find your story and tell it to the world. If your passion comes through, your story will stick and so will your brand. BTW, I bought a lithograph of Mark's painting of the SF Giants, but not the Dodge. And I already own just about every Apple device, so I am already sold.

Published on: Jan 12, 2015
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