Two videos touched me last week.

The first video is the NFL Hall of Fame acceptance speech by Shannon Sharpe. It will go down as the best speech in the long history of the NFL Hall of Fame.


Shannon Sharpe is a good speaker, definitely not a great speaker. He doesn’t have the best delivery, the best technique.

He doesn’t need.

He has a great story.

A story that will grip. Touch you. Make you weep.

It’s a story about decency, hard work, dedication, determination and a lot of love.

Most brands tell story greatly.

They tend to say the same thing than their competitors, their advertising agency just says it differently.

Just look at automotive advertising (turns, horsepower, freedom) or marketing for toothpaste (clean, white, fresh).

The majority of brands utilize position strategies that converge on the same position as their rival, they just look for the agencies to say the same thing a bit different.

Over the years the message gets tired and only updated with new commercial directors, actors or cool CGI. The mini site gets a funky navigation, the Facebook a crazy promotion, the logo a new treatment. The product doesn’t differentiate, leading to improving category consumption NOT brand selection. (“Ok, all toothpaste make me feel fresh but I have no clue what brand to choose.”) Resulting in an enormous waste of advertising dollars. And benefiting the category aka the competition not your own brand.

A few brands tell a great story.

Brands that tell a great story identified a product/service dimension that dramatically differentiates themselves from competitors.

No worries, I’m not going to trot out the tired examples of Apple, Amazon or Zappos.

Let’s talk about The Melt.

Basically, The Melt is grilled sandwich restaurant. Mildly interesting.

Where it becomes fascinating when basic food and technology collides. The Melt is the brain child of Jonathan Kaplan (he made a few pennies with the Flip camera. $590 million dollars to Cisco, to be exact.) His vision is to open five restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area starting in August, with the hope of expanding to 500 locations over the next five years.

The technology angle makes this venture interesting. As the WSJ says: “When customers order using the company’s location-based mobile application, The Melt will fire up the sandwiches as the customers are nearby, and they can pay through their phones and skip a line.”




World Domination. (Ok, maybe)

Great stories are the DNA of your brand.

You need to reconnect with them. Excavate them. Bring them to light.

A lot of people are talking about content marketing and storytelling.

It’s going to be an important part of your marketing mix.

But you need to tell great stories first before you focus on telling them greatly.


Once in a while, you’ll discover a gem where people find ways to tell a great story greatly.

They only had $10,000.

And a great story.

They made it work.

So can you.