Jennifer Aaker: The Seven Deadly Sins of Storytelling

A Stanford GSB professor of marketing explains why engaging your audience is key to success.

Jennifer Aaker

Good stories have three components: a strong beginning, a strong end, and a point of tension. Most people confuse stories with situations. They’ll tell about a situation: X happened, Y happened, Z happened. But a good story takes Y, the middle part of the story, and creates tension or conflict where the reader or the audience is drawn into the story, what’s going to happen … [ Read more ]

Jennifer Aaker

There are at least four important stories that all companies should have in their portfolio. The first is the “who am I?” story—you know, how did we get started? The second is the “vision” story, the “where are we going in the future?” This may or may not be connected to the “who are we?” story. A third is the “apology and recovery” story. In … [ Read more ]

If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Consider Time

Forget Suze Orman. Time, Not Money, Is Your Most Precious Resource. Spend It Wisely.

7 Deadly Sins of Business Storytelling

While the reason you are telling a business story may be quite different from the reason you tell a story at a party, the same techniques apply. Too often, company stories come across as dry and flat because they fall prey to these seven deadly sins.

Does Consumer Happiness = Time or Money Spent?

Advertising that focuses on how customers experience the product produces better results than focusing on money. “Because a person’s experience with a product tends to foster feelings of personal connection with it, referring to time typically leads to more favorable attitudes — and to more purchases,” says Professor Jennifer Aaker, one of the authors of a recent study.

Pitching Consumers as Individuals versus Group Members

A juice company is trying to decide between alternative marketing campaigns. One approach relates to the consumer as an individual. Another shows the individual surrounded by family. Which approach would be the most effective? Research by Jennifer Aaker, associate professor of marketing, helps illuminate such questions, suggesting that persuasion depends on the kinds of benefit promised, and whether consumers view themselves as either autonomous beings … [ Read more ]