A good story adds value to a product

The more you can spread the narrative, the greater the potential force for your business. To what extent is impossible to know. As Shiller writes in his concluding paragraphs, “there are serious issues of inferring causality…these issues are not surmountable.” Even if we can’t measure it, or directly attribute causality, the effect of stories and narrative economics is real and powerful.

Were uncomfortable admitting that a totally made up “story” about a product increases the price for it. Luxury brands play off this: a Yeti is more expensive then a generic cooler, handbags and all that. The story of a brand makes the price higher. The same can be true for technology, no matter how targeted it is to engineers who believe they can’t be beguiled.

The right story can make a huge difference for technology adoption. Kubernetes’ success is due in large part to better stories than its rivals. It was just as hard to install, often had less features, definitely didn’t have the enterprise software ecosystem around it, had few enterprise reference cases…and so on. It’s story was fantastic though – you can be like Google!

Only the losers think this is a bad situation, of course. The winners see the story as helping adoption. The losers see good stories as cheating, as creating adoption.

Not all marketing is this, of course. Most of enterprise software marketing is about genuinely explaining the technology, describing how other organizations are using it (case studies and reference customers), and the hidden part of marketing, finding and reaching prospects: demand generations


Original source: “Narrative Economics and the Power of Stories.”