Marketing is for Dummies, Story is for Everyone.



Brand Story

In college, two marketing representatives from a Tahitian juice company came to speak to my class.

In college, two marketing representatives from a Tahitian juice company came to speak to my class.  They shared with us information about a new drink that promised good health, better digestion, and superior antioxidant protection. We were encouraged to become independent distributors of this life-changing juice that was transforming the wellness space and would, in turn, transform our oh-so-troubled college lives.

Selling to our network of friends would be easy if we followed three simple marketing strategies: (1) Scarcity: Lie and say you only have a few bottles left to persuade them to buy now; (2) First-in-Class: Tell them there’s never been anything like this before and that they’ll want to get in on the movement early; and (3) Social Proof: Share with them an inflated number of people whose lives have already been transformed from one simple drink.

I’ll never forget the expression on their faces as they explained why these strategies were guaranteed to work. It was the same expression you see on the faces of those cult members being interviewed by CNN – the one that lets you know they actual believe their own nonsense.

That’s what this entire pitch was to me: nonsense.

Did they think we were dumb? Had they assumed that our friends would not see through such inauthentic marketing ploys? Finally, if this brand was so life-changing, wouldn’t it sell on its own through some foundation of truth?

.     .     .


I passed on the opportunity to become a student distributor of Tahitian juice. Instead, I continued my education in marketing and learned of a better way to sell products.

I still see companies today using many of the same marketing tactics that were presented to me in college. I don’t doubt their effectiveness, but I have come to understand that just like that life-changing juice brand made some money for a few years and then disappeared, these tactics offer the same outcome for the brands that rely on them: short-lived success.


It’s for those unintelligent customers who can’t see through the psychological games.  And that customer, ladies and gentlemen, is dying. She is being replaced by a far-more-intelligent buyer who is persuaded through other means.

The 21st century customer wants to feel connected and understood by the brands she invests in.  She is compelled by messages that speak directly to her and where she is in life. To attract her, your brand has to stop marketing and start storytelling.

“To attract today’s customer, your brand has to stop marketing and start storytelling.”

Putting your customer at the center of your story is the most effective sales strategy a business can have today. It is also the best way to guarantee not just a sale, or a referral, or another sale, but a genuine connection that transcends those independent transactions.

After spending years making the switch for brands like Armani Exchange, The United States Olympic Committee, Heat Free Hair, and Camille Rose Naturals, one thing is clearer than ever to me:

Whether your customers are young or old, male or female, black or white, varied or the same,

Story SELLS and it is for EVERYONE. 


Are you selling with story? Or are you using old school marketing tactics for dummies? Click here to book a FREE 15-minute Discovery Call with me to talk about how you can use story to create a more effective marketing to-do list this week!

Written by: Amber Williams

Master Brand Storyteller & Founder of PunkyFlair

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