Tell a good story, first — Kelford Labs Daily

Your process is your story.

Tell a good story, first — Kelford Labs Daily

In Robert Updegraff’s 1916 classic Obvious Adams, the titular Adams is counseling a paper company on their advertising, insisting that they should show off their paper-making process.

He acknowledges that “there is nothing clever about these advertisements. They are simple statements of fact.” But by consistently sharing the high quality process, and therefore the high quality product, it would “in a comparatively short time make people begin to think of yours as something above the ordinary among papers.”

The client balks, however. “We should be the laughingstock of all the paper-makers in the country if they saw us come out and talk that way about our paper, when all the good ones make their paper that way.”

Updegraff writes that Adams bent forward and looked his client “squarely in the eyes.”

“‘Mr. Merritt, to whom are you advertising—paper-makers or paper users?’”

Remember: It is all about credibility in the eyes of our buyers, our clients, our customers. Not about impressing our peers or taking down a particular competitor.

When the legendary copywriter Claude C. Hopkins was advertising an up-and-coming beer brand, he asked his client why they didn’t boast about their process.

The executives responded that “everyone brewed their beer this way.”

“No matter,” Hopkins replied. “If you tell a good story and tell it first, it will be your story.”

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