Viewing entries tagged
business

The Fenwick's Window Effect

Like most people, some of my fondest childhood memories stretch back from Christmas. But for me, it wasn't just the opening of the presents and trying hopelessly to get to sleep on Christmas eve. For me, it was Fenwick's.

Fenwick - 'Logo'

Fenwick - 'Logo'

That's right, I just said Fenwick's, the retail store. Some people may remember the glorious Fenwick's window displays of the 90's (which are still popular today), where the store would set up a wonderful display of puppets and animatronics depicting Santa's workshop with all his elves working hard to make all the presents. My Grandma and Grandad would take me and my sister Christmas shopping in town each year and we would literally be ecstatic and run over in excitement to join the crowd of other children. Just thinking about it now makes me smile. How strange for a retail store to have this effect.

Fenwick - 'Fenwick's Windows'

Fenwick - 'Fenwick's Windows'

Fast forward 20 years and I now have my old excited little girl and she surprised me one night recently when I got home from the studio. "Finally!” She groaned as I walked in through the front door “We've been waiting for ages! We're going to watch the John Lewis advert!" And she demanded I sit down with her and her mum around the iPad to watch this year's Buster the Boxer advert.

John Lewis - 'Buster the Boxer'

John Lewis - 'Buster the Boxer'

As it played through, we laughed and giggled at the animals and enjoyed the video together as a family and of course it was played through more than once. How strange for a retail advert to have this effect. Of course, I see the parallels between the Fenwick's Windows back when I little and the John Lewis advert now.
 

It's new age marketing. An approach that aims to entertain customers, educate and provide value for them. Where customers come to you via social media, search engines and referral. Most importantly, it's an approach that strikes a cord, leaves a lasting memory and creates a warm association between customer and business.

Fenwick - 'Fenwick's Window 2013'

Fenwick - 'Fenwick's Window 2013'

I think my daughter will probably have warm memories of the John Lewis adverts when she is older and sitting with a VR headset on, enjoying the latest fad with her children. It amazing how much fun and good spirit can be spread from what is essential and advert!

Thoughts by

Gary

Tell a Great Story

Anyone with children knows that one of the best ways to keep them quiet (for more than five minutes) is to read them a story. A well made book with great illusions will always help, but with my little girl I find that I can also make up stories (using trick-of-the-trade storytelling formulas) that keep her equally as engaged. Well told stories in any form, moving image, music or written will have this effect.

(Image - http://montgomerymoon.com)

(Image - http://montgomerymoon.com)

It doesn't stop with children either. Recently I had the pleasure of attending the Staffordshire Business Festival which had loads of wonderful events and speakers that gave talks about their businesses. Now some did give sales pitches, some were more engaging than others, but the ones that really stood out, told great stories.

(image - Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce)

(image - Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce)

One man in particular, told a compelling story about how his business started up, how it grew, how it almost fell and how they saved it in the knick of time, with risky choices and brave decisions; resulting in the success it is today. It wasn't until the end of his presentation that I broke my attention and began to appreciate what he had done. The room was watching, listening, and engaging with this man. He didn't give us any more or less information than the previous speakers had, we just heard every word this time, because he told us in a storytelling format.

Good stories always have one key thing in common. They always show a journey of change. They go from good to bad, then back to good again. They show a normal day, throw in a problem, then show the audience how that problem was overcome, resulting in an improved situation and a learning curve that we can understand.
 

(Image - /sivers.org/drama)

(Image - /sivers.org/drama)

We love this familiar format because we learn easily from it because that’s how we have been learning since the dawn of time. We sat around campfires and heard about how Dad got bitten by a saber-tooth cat, but managed to escape with his life after doing something clever. We learned about how when the crops started to inexplicably die, somebody had the courage to try something new and saved the town from famine. We read about how even in her darkest hour, the entrepreneur didn't give up after losing everything and how the unassuming friend she had shown kindness to years before, saved the day, turning the situation around through trust and good teamwork.
 

(Image - www.pinterest.com/pin/367395282081412916/)

(Image - www.pinterest.com/pin/367395282081412916/)

Stories were the original lessons, the original form of education and we as humans instinctively engage with them. This is why my daughter loves stories so much and this is why the key to effective communication, education, marketing or even sales is to figure out what information you need to get across and then do it with a great story.

Thoughts By

Gary