Winning the Story Wars Book Review

Posted in Marketing With a Story
by on September 3, 2013

There’s a lot I like about Johan Sachs’ book, Winning the Story Wars, and I’m going to share two parts of the book here. I greatly encourage you to grab this book, read it cover-to-cover and then keep it close by as a reference as you continue to shape and tell your crazy-good stories.

Winning the Story Wars

First, I always like a good list. Early in the book, Johan shares some of the big sins of marketing. These aren’t new; they’re good reminders. Don’t commit these sins!

The Marketing Sins

  1. Vanity – You know them, they begin with telling/talking about themselves. “For thirty years we have been… and We’re number one because…” this is vanity. The audience wants to see their own reality, not someone else’s.
  2. Authority – Just as our passion about ourselves leads us to vanity, our presumed expertise tempts us to commit the sin of authority. We put our facts out there, list our features, our jargon (guilty!), our credentials and no one really cares.
  3. Insincerity – Think of the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Be yourself.
  4. Puffery and the Wizard of Oz – “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain,” one of my favorite lines from the Wizard of Oz. I like how Johan references this.
  5. Gimmickry – Humor is a great storytelling tool; just don’t take it too far.

My next favorite section is a list of values we need to speak to when we work to engage our client’s audience. We each have values in our life, and our work life, that we’re working toward. We need to understand and find these values in our audiences. He shares a great list and explanation for each.

Of course he also shares other great stories, why we need to tell and share stories and how to put your story together. It’s well done. If you’re in marketing, or have a desire to connect with your audience on a deep level, there’s no reason this isn’t in well-used reference tool in your library.

Go grab the book and some of the extra resources and videos on the book website. Enjoy the story.

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