From Feature to Story: Building Compelling Narratives

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I presented this at #wintercamp this year - for companies looking to tell a more compelling story around their products. Main topics include developing and understanding the target customer, creating a bigger story around product features, leveraging the right PR strategy and building a narrative.

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From Feature to Story: Building Compelling Narratives

  1. 1. From Feature to StoryI’d like you to meet my friend “WHY”Wednesday, June 12, 13
  2. 2. A few assumptions before we get started• Small Budget• Great Product• Early Market Fit• Focus on Acceleration vs BrandWednesday, June 12, 13
  3. 3. Reason #1 - Explaining what you do becomes a loteasier with a storyWednesday, June 12, 13
  4. 4. Reason #2: Customers rarely buy products based on afeature comparisonWednesday, June 12, 13
  5. 5. “[Martin Luther King Jr.]made the ‘I have a DREAM’speech, not the ‘I have aplan’ speech.”— @simonsinekReason #3: Having purpose for what you do makes iteasier to inspire othersWednesday, June 12, 13
  6. 6. Reason #4:Validation MattersLOGOSLAPWednesday, June 12, 13
  7. 7. “My wife thinks you should...”--or why you need to write it downReason #5: A well thought out position helps you avoidmentor whiplashWednesday, June 12, 13
  8. 8. Developing the NarrativeWednesday, June 12, 13
  9. 9. Most people when asked about their product start bydescribing the features.Wednesday, June 12, 13
  10. 10. ... but if I don’t know why I should care about it, whywould I want to hear about the features.Wednesday, June 12, 13
  11. 11. WHY?Wednesday, June 12, 13
  12. 12. Think about who your customer is... tell the story thatmatters to themMom?Bartender? The CTO?King Maker?Wednesday, June 12, 13
  13. 13. Get focused on the right customer - you can’t servethem all in the beginning• What do they want?• Why do they need your product?• What do they care about?• How do they make decisions?• Where can they be found?Wednesday, June 12, 13
  14. 14. Competitive Landscape is not just about featuresWednesday, June 12, 13
  15. 15. FindYOUR White SpaceUnique Thing We DoOther Unique ThingWe DoOur CompanyOur CompetitiveSetWednesday, June 12, 13
  16. 16. Example: BarNotesSocial Curation ofthe Best CocktailsExpert CreatedCraft CocktailsCocktail DirectoriesDatabase of RecipesSpirit Brand SiteEpicuriousLiquor.comMixologist BloggersWednesday, June 12, 13
  17. 17. ElevatingYour StoryWednesday, June 12, 13
  18. 18. Make new features or product launches matterWe’re Launching theAppearance Panel!!!vsIntroducing the Ning DesignStudio• Design Community• Advanced CSS• Respected Partners• Theme Contest• Creative ServicesWednesday, June 12, 13
  19. 19. You need to own who the target and what story youwantJuly 2012Wednesday, June 12, 13
  20. 20. Building a more compelling storyline makes it easier tosell itJuly 2012 November 2012Wednesday, June 12, 13
  21. 21. ... and pays dividends in the long runWednesday, June 12, 13
  22. 22. Building out the story makes it harder to get caught inthe ego trapFundingRecruitingBusinessValidation Customer AcquisitionVC’sIndustryVC’sIndustryPotential CustomersCustomer SegmentIndustryStreet Cred atCapdeVilleWe’ve made it as a realbusinessOur target customer isexcited about usWednesday, June 12, 13
  23. 23. Learning to Tell the StoryMake a GridAsk CustomersPitchRecruitSeek MockeryWednesday, June 12, 13

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