WHAT STORY ARE WE TELLING OURSELVES?
May 24th, 2016
We've all experienced it. That feeling when you think something is destined to go wrong. You overthink every single scenario and how to react. You're trying to think but it feels like your brain is in a straight jacket.
Inevitably, a few days later, it all works itself out. And we look back at how silly we were to have reacted that way - to have lost sleep and hours of our day to stress.
What we were really reacting to was our perception of reality, and not reality itself. We were telling ourselves a certain story that was based on our beliefs, past experiences, and sub-conscious. We are a sucker for our own storytelling, it gets us every time.
When we are kids, it's imagination. When we are adults, it's guiding principles trying to keep us safe, happy, feeling good about ourselves.
It would be naive to ignore this phenomena as business builders and marketers.
Seth Godin describes this beautifully when talking about how people buy the latest iPhone: there is a group of people that will buy it immediately because they tell themselves they have to have it; there is another group that will wait 6 months because they feel it's the smarter thing to do (why buy now? My phone is fine and I will wait until all the hype dies down); and there is another group that will wait another year for the very same reason (I'll wait until they figure out all the bugs and the price goes down with the new model out).
There is another group I will add in that tell themselves the Samsung is so much superior for a much better price and I won't be one of the Apple sheep.
They all feel like they made the smartest decision, but really when you look at it there is no life altering, nor smart or stupid, choice - they are all still buying smartphones. Buying habits are changed only by their beliefs and how it manifests into the story they tell themselves.
Ultimately, the question becomes not only do we understand the story our consumers tell themselves, but once we do - how do we become a part of it?
Dave Corelli is Chief Strategy Officer of SportBox Group, a global entertainment agency with verticals in strategic marketing, personality representation, and event creation and ownership. Corelli oversees business and creative strategy globally for the agency, its clients, athletes and events. Follow Dave on Twitter and on Medium.