A Boring Everyday Tool Can Start a Story

By Judi Friedman June 21, 2012

The other day, a friend of mine sent me an email with lots of pictures of shopping bags. Yes, shopping bags; a boring, everyday tool. I was really intrigued, not because I’m really into shopping bags, but because the shopping bags were really interesting as a way to start a story. I studied each picture (a lot of pictures holds my attention longer than a lot of words), thinking about how clever they were.

start a story

Since I’m always thinking about what gets a person interested in something enough to tell their friends, when I saw this I immediately thought ‘Wow! How many conversations could these bags start? How many conversations have these already started?’ I found myself wishing I had a few, just to walk down the street to be noticed. It would be especially fun to have this one to start a story:

start a story

There is a ‘fine line’ lesson here. You want people to be so intrigued by what you’re doing that they want to talk to you. You don’t want to do something so interesting that all they want to talk about is what you’ve done instead of why you’ve done it.

In other words, don’t let the action eclipse the story. For Word of Mouth Marketing, we might do something to get someone’s attention, but it’s always in the service of telling the story.

Much like these bags. I might want to use a really cool shopping bag as a tool, but only if it starts an interesting conversation about the product inside.

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