When building company identity, figure out the story your users are telling their friends. Users define value differently from what your copy is telling them. Pitches such as the new x, the fastest y, or the cheapest z won’t be what users are telling their friends. Find the story, share it, and more people will talk about your product.
The story people share is not the marketing copy
Sure Twitter is good for “finding out what was happening right now”, but who is going to tell that to their friends? I’m going to talk about how fun the debates were to watch alongside tweets, or how great Twitter is to augment a conference.
Of course Tumblr is the “simplest blogging platform”, but I’m going to tell friends about the niche music genres I love, that I discovered on it. I’m going to tell visual artists how making a GIF made my work spread like crazy.
Yeah, Snapchat is “a way to share moments with friends”, but isn’t that every social network? Really the fun in it is making goofy drawings and laughing at each other.
When you want to get people talking about your product, you’ve got to move beyond the marketing copy. The story people share must be personally meaningful or easy to talk about.
You can’t just ask users for a story
Figuring out these stories isn’t easy. What users would tell their friends isn’t the same as what they’d tell you, simply because you made the product, and you’re prompting for a response.
See how people discuss your product in forums and on Twitter. A week ago, we saw a tweet regarding embedding gists on a blogging platform. One response recommended using Embedly, because someone wanted to improve the platform; Embedly solved the problem and was easy to use.
Why this is essential to figure out
When I see a talk or get pitched on a product, I’ve found it is always the anecdotes that stick with me. A pitch is hard to relay, that feels a bit grimey. But a meaningful anecdote is exciting to talk about, it is much more human, and the value is concrete.
Be deliberate about discovering and expressing these stories, and people will talk more about your product. People will remember your pitch, will respond better to your presentations, and will relay your conversations.