“The oddest moment came midconcert when I looked across the football stadium and saw 56,000 enraptured Spaniards, pumping their fists in the air in fervent unison and bellowing at the top of their lungs, “I was born in the U.S.A.! I was born in the U.S.A.!”
What makes us buy into some stories while other stories are a mere passing interest that fades quickly? The answer, at least according to David Brooks New York Times Article, The Power of the Particular, has to do with strong storylines from brands that have hard boundaries.
Writers like Jeff Goins would call this a World View.
For instance, when most think of Springsteen, they think of steel mills and beautiful losers and blue collar workers.
Springsteen’s songs embodies that life and his story makes you think that it’s his own. And for someone living far away, it helps define the story and paint that particular world.
When he moans out the lyrics to songs like the River, you feel the emotion of what it’s like to live that story.
But one song or lyric doesn’t define a story line. Not when you are building a brand at least. The story line is solidified when your work embodies and paints that world completely.
Which is why something like thousands of folks overseas singing “Born in the USA” at the top of their lungs is possible when the song has nothing to do with what’s happening in their life. They’ve bought into the story. The song is just part of the act.
In contrast, most story lines and world views come with rather soft boundaries. It’s an appeal to the masses rather than the specific. But as most marketers know, if you are trying to appeal to everyone, chances are good you are going to appeal to no one….
The point is that you need to stop trying to please everyone. Define your boundaries. Build your storyline and then invite others in.
And if you haven’t read it yet, you should- The Power of the Particular.
Image Attribution- http://www.flickr.com/photos/kudumomo/3536642606/
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