As a general rule, you just can’t go wrong making your customer the “star” of your advertisement, web content or sales letter. Another way to put this is to focus on solving your customers’ problems (and I include needs, wants, fears, ambitions, desires, frustrations etc. under the umbrella of “problems”).

But there is an exception to this rule. Many successful ads have told stories in which someone else appears to be the “star.”

These people all had a problem, and all found a solution to that problem. Look back at some of the very powerful ads you’ve read, seen or heard that were first person stories about someone who found relief from a difficult situation.

Or look at those stories that were not in the first person, but had the feel of a case history. Again, the formula is the same. A person, family or business faced a serious problem, which are leading to very painful consequences. But fortunately (just in time) a solution arrived on the scene in the form of a product, company or service, leading to a “happily ever after resolution.”

Now, I would like to suggest that these story-like ads were not exceptions to the rule after all. If these ads are well written, the customer identifies with the person being talked about. His problems are your customer’s problems. His pain is felt by your customer. The serious consequences he faced are consequences you customer might face.

In all these cases, your customer is still the star, albeit by identification. This is why stories are so powerful. If your customer identifies with the person facing this problem, or if your customer has also faced this same problem, the customer sees himself in your ad.

This opens up a lot of ways to approach your ad. If you can present your ad as a story or a case history that your customers can identify with, they will form a connection with the person you portray.

Stories are incredibly powerful selling tools. As long as your customers are the “starts,” even if by identification.

COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown


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