Review: This is a book about storytelling in marketing. Why recommend it? Well, because all of us use marketing (whether we know it or not) in the workplace. Selling products through the use of compelling, attention-getting stories is not new. However, Seth Godin provides a good rationale for why focusing communication through story is particularly important now. Substitute “yourself/your career” for “products/services” and you’ll see how applicable this book can be in communicating your point-of-difference at work.
Key ideas include:
Stories make people believe in product superiority—Godin gives the example of the Porshe Cayenne vs VW Touareg which are the essentially the same car at vastly different price points. Similarly I believe that telling compelling stories—to be clear, I don’t mean lies, I mean creating a narrative so your contribution is evident—makes the difference in who gets ahead at work.
"Frame" your story in a way that makes sense to people so it breaks through the clutter and fits the audiences’ worldview. You can’t change how people see things, you have to choose a different audience if you’re not connecting to them with your story.
The amount of information and complexity of the marketplace makes it virtually impossible to communicate a product’s positioning in one sentence. So too for you—create a story so people can get a sense of who you are and what you can contribute.
Godin’s writing style is very accessible and made it easy to think about how the concepts he covered could apply to an individual’s career. If you’re a seasoned marketer, you probably won’t learn much in the way of marketing but it’s an interesting read nonetheless.