A perfect example of an authentic story

During a show, not so long ago, I happened to be a witness of a conversation between two exhibitors. One of them told the other the story on how he got involved in leather crafting. As a young boy, he told, he made a sheath for a knife. His mother was well known for this craft and was a skilled leather worker. So, proud on the first workpiece he made, he showed it to his mother and asked her opinion.

Boy [proud]: Look, mother, what I made.
Mother [checking out the workpiece]: do you want an honest opinion or are you looking for compliments?
Boy: I want an honest opinion.
Mother: Okay, I will give you my honest opinion when you can explain me in detail how you made this piece of shit! In detail, describing what you did, how you did it and wich tools you used.

The boy, in shock because his mother used the phrase “piece of shit”, explained in detail what leather was used, which tools he used to make holes for stitches, which thread he used for stitching and so on. For each step in the process, his mother told him how he should have done it, which materials and tools he should have used.

After this incident, the boy deliberated and motivated himself to make another workpiece. Not only because he really desired to craft leather sheats, but now also to impress his mother.

After a few weeks he got back to his mother and showed his second workpiece: a handcrafted leather sheath with a engraved image of a prancing horse. His mother took the sheath and examined it thoroughly.

Mother: who had made it?
Boy: I did.
Mother: that’s not possible! This sheath is crafted with excellent craftsmanship with techniques you don’t master yet. It takes years of practicing to finally master this techniques.
Boy: I made it with the use of your directions and instructions.

I will leave the rest of the story to your imagination. The young boy grew up and during many years of hardworking, fall & rise, he now is recognized for his skills and craftsmanship. His products are shipped all over the world. The value in this story is the authenticity. This is a perfect example of a story that needs to be told. The main character of this example doesn’t really need it anymore after being active with his business over 35 years now. But starting his business in the beginning, this story would have accelerated his business. People do like these kind of stories behind a company or a craftsman. The authenticity, genuine and sincere. People can identify themself with such a story. And they want to be part of the story. It will bring recognition, respect and most of all people will grant you their purchases.

Of course, this story at itself is not enough to create recurring customers. More is needed. But this story is a good example of a starting point, suitable to enhance it with your mission, vision, values, awesome products & solutions.
To create content that will bind customers to your brand for a long time.

So, what is your story? How do you use your story in your marketing?

Author: henkh

Active in the knife industry as marketing consultant. Active community member and collector of all kinds of knives. Like to share my knowledge. Co-founder of Bladestock, Bladestock Brothers. Founder of ED-Media, Knives from Europe, EDC praat, Knives Heaven, European Knife Association, EDC Heaven.

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