Mastering the art of Product Storytelling

Most early, digital native retailers that rode paid advertising to unicorn valuations like Casper and Warby Parker are now struggling to grow amidst the recent privacy updates. Retailers that relied on earned media for traffic, on the other hand, are taking these headwinds in their stride.

Pioneering online watch retailer Hodinkee is a perfect example. Founded in 2008, Hodinkee ran no paid advertising for the first decade of its life and only hired its first marketing director in 2021.

Instead, Hodinkee built a loyal community by focusing on product storytelling—from their influential blog that generates 3.6M views a month, to their richly detailed product pages that cement the sale. In doing so, they’ve grown steadily to over $100M in revenue.

(Source: Hodinkee.com)

The reason product storytelling is so powerful is simple: Stories are how we humans create meaning and change behavior, including purchase behavior. According to a Stanford Study stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone. In another study, storytelling was proven to double donations to a well know children’s charity.

All that is to say, if you’re not using the power of storytelling, you’re not changing minds or creating community. And you’re leaving money on the table.

(Source: Mike Erskine on Unsplash)

What is product storytelling?

Product storytelling takes customers on the journey of how and why you created your product, and how it solves their problems. It also connects your products to themes and attitudes they care deeply about.

A perfect example is the rise of Lululemon. In the early 2000s, while Nike and the rest of the sports industry were peddling stories of competition, domination and winning, Lululemon offered a vision of athleticism as a path to health and self-improvement.

(Source: Jose Vazquez on Unsplash )

Were Lululemon’s products better than Nike’s? Debatable. Were their stories of self-improvement a welcome relief for millions of customers tired of the ‘winning takes care of everything’ narrative that dominated sports at the time? Without a doubt.

What are benefits?

Different stories solve different problems at different points in the customer journey. Here is a quick rundown of three ways product storytelling can boost your bottom line.

Drives customers to your website

Customers rarely search for products. They search for solutions to problems. By consistently sharing stories of how your products solve customers’ challenges across your blogs, category pages and PDPs, you’ll rank higher in searches results and drive more traffic to your website. KEEN Footwear, for instance, saw a 524% increase in organic traffic from their blog in just six months by crafting stories about how their products fit into the lives of their customers: young active families.

(Source: Keenfootwear.com)

Creates community

Brands like Backcountry.com, Rapha and net-a-porter are famous for building incredibly loyal communities based on the attitudes and values that radiated from every piece of content they generate.

(Source: net-a-porter.com)

Raises conversion

Product storytelling provides the most complete picture of the product your customers are about to buy. In a study by the market research firm Origin, researchers found consumers were 5% more likely to buy from the product page with the winemaker’s story, and they were willing to pay 6% more for that same bottle of wine.

(Source: wine.com)

What are the challenges?

Understanding how your products resolve challenges in your customers’ lives is one thing. Communicating that consistently, accurately, and impactfully everywhere your customers buy, is a much more difficult challenge.

That’s why we created Talkoot. Talkoot helps the world’s most loved brands create deeper, more valuable connections with customers everywhere they buy through more powerful product storytelling. To see how Talkoot can do the same for your brand, get in touch with one of our consultants.

About Talkoot

Talkoot is the world’s most flexible intelligent PIM, helping consumer-obsessed brands bring their product information to life.

Talkoot powers the product storytelling for some of the world’s most loved brands like adidas, Burton, Rossignol, POC, Reebok and many more.

An easy-to-use system to keep your brand voice in check, your content teams happy and your product pages updated, with the only AI-writer built for eCommerce.

Looking for faster, more consistent on-brand content production? Talk to us about how Talkoot can turn all your product copy and assets into customer love.

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