Merritt Group Blog

You Have a Great Product, Now Craft a Great Story

The key to telling a successful product or service story is knowing what kind of audience you want to reach and then putting your solution into a relevant context for that audience. Often times, this means you must look beyond the technical details of your solution and explore the wider significance of why your industry peers will find this announcement relevant.

Here are five guiding principles to help you highlight the most important components of your solution and then to make that into a compelling story.

  1. Prove You’re First, Better or Best — Be aware of your competitor landscape and understand how your product or service measures up. Are you announcing a first-of-its-kind solution? Is it superior to other solutions on the market because of a new architecture, a more efficient process or a key partner integration? Making these superlative statements and backing them up helps you differentiate from competitors and indicates your company is a leader in its industry.
  2. Show, Don’t Tell ‚ Yes, your IT and analyst audiences will want to hear about specs, but how do you reach some of your softer audiences, like a member of the C-Suite, a business reporter or an investor who may not understand the nitty-gritty details? This is where use cases come in. Paint a clear picture of how your product can perform in different scenarios, emphasizing what its ideal performance environments are. Present an anecdote about how a key customer was able to use your product to overcome a challenge and structure it in a linear way according to Problem, Solution and Result. If a customer is unwilling to publicly endorse you, anonymize your use case. Does your solution play particularly well in certain vertical markets such as finance, health care, retail or education? Contextualize to demonstrate the multiple facets of how your product performs in different industries.
  3. Get Validation — Think about third-party resources you can bring in to validate your product. Is there an extremely satisfied customer you can tap to tell their story? Are you working with an industry analyst that believes your product is filling a gap in the market? Is there research that underscores the need for your solution? Have you collected customer data to prove how your product is making a difference? Getting third-party endorsements lends authority to your announcement.  
  4. Tap the News Cycle — Timing your announcement alongside a major industry event can give you added amplification in the press and open up new onsite briefing opportunities among sales leads and analysts. Reporters are also hungry to make connections between a solution and a larger relevant industry trend.
  5. Lead With a Trend — Over the years we’ve seen a decline of straight product stories in the news. Reporters are eager to make larger connections about what your solution means on a grand scale. Think about what trends in the market led you to make your product. Imagine how your product will fit in the future of your industry in one, five or 10 years down the road. Point to breaking news stories to help prove your point.

By keeping these five ingredients in mind as your begin to position your product in the news and on your website, you’ll be able to tell a multidimensional story that will appeal to a variety of audiences. A good next step is taking our self-evaluation quiz, which will take you a minute and will give you even more detailed, personalized recommendations for marketing your business and product. 

Topics: marketing messaging startup marketing start ups branding