Tuesday, May 23, 2006

hook: beginnings lead somewhere

You are at a park walking your doberman when you see a man attempting to pull a little boy into a car. The boy is crying and screaming uncontrollably.

You stop the man from driving away by physically preventing him from getting behind the wheel, all the while calling for help.

A policeman intervenes, as does the father moments later. The child is returned to his father, the alleged kidnapper is taken away, and you go on your way, shaken but feeling strangely elated.

The next day four large men accost you as you're walking your dog near the same park, attempting to maneuver you down a narrow side-street.

Good thing for you the man whose son you saved is also nearby, and this time he intervenes on your behalf. A brief, silent standoff ensues, and soon you find that you and your rescuer are left alone.

Relieved, you strike up a conversation with the man, who pledges his undying appreciation for what you did, promising to "look after you". With a knowing nod, he shakes your hand and walks away.

Your dog can't stop whimpering.

Question: Where does the story go from here?

Question: If the story went nowhere from here, would you remember that it started well, or would you dismiss it?

Question: What is the story of your launch? Who is the protagonist? What is his/her problem? Who is the enemy?

Question: What is the story you want to tell after your product launches?

Question: Do any of your marketing plans tell a story? Or are they dull sequences of action verbs and metrics? Can your buyers see themselves in your narrative? Do they identify with your characters and their issues? Do they consider themselves fans of your style?

Why: Everyone loves a good story. So tell one.

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