The Founder Story
The What. The How. The Who.
Hey there 👋 - Abhi here!
Happy Thursday to the 27,528 marketers reading today :)
I spent the weekend playing spikeball, having some overnight oats, and getting back into my workout routine. Feeling pretty great! But these insights are even better…
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The Founder Story
I was scrolling Twitter, as one does, and I ended up on a thread about the impact of plain-text emails by founders on the sales of a company. Whether it was a product update email or more about the company’s journey, the impact was undeniable.
Turns out, founder stories work so well because narrative processing suppresses counter-arguing and is often enjoyed by consumers too.
As for you, this should change the way you approach your storytelling and that classic “About Us” page. It’s far more than a convention - with these 3 tactics you can turn it into a powerful marketing weapon.
3 Science-Backed Tactics To Nail Your Founder Story
Self-enhancement is the pursuit of personal status and success. Self-transcendent values, on the contrary, refer to one’s concern for the well-being of others. I’m thinking Patagonia.
Turns out, narratives that emphasize the founder’s self-transcendent values evoke more authenticity towards the brand than a narrative that emphasizes the founder’s self-enhancement values.
So please keep the focus of your journey on the benefit to others. In fact, you can turn this sense of social responsibility into a powerful marketing funnel - I wrote more about that and the Patagonian Win-Win here.
Now that you know more about what to say, here’s a little more about the how…
10 studies demonstrated that performers (whether political or entrepreneurial) who are revealed to be self-repeating are perceived as less authentic. Self-repetitions violate the innate human assumption that each social interaction is unique - it makes it look like all our answers are generic and rehearsed.
But what do you do to avoid this self-repetition?
When you have no choice but to repeat yourselves, acknowledge the self-repetition. This eliminates the decrease in authenticity because we no longer seem deceptive.
When you get the chance, start diversifying your story - think about the time you got your idea, your first struggle as a business, or the most scrappy thing you ever did!
Leverage each opportunity for a persuasive founder story, but make sure it’s the right fit for your audience too…
In a study by Paharia and their team in 2009, they introduced the concept of underdog brand biographies (UBB) to break down the frequently seen storyline wherein businesses talk about their humble beginnings, lack of resources, and determination to fight the odds.
They even demonstrated that UBBs can increase purchase intentions, real choice, and brand loyalty. In fact, four studies depicted that this UBB effect is:
Mediated by consumers’ identification with the brand
Greater for consumers who strongly self-identify as underdogs
Stronger when consumers are purchasing for themselves vs. others
Stronger in cultures where the underdog narratives are part of the national identity
And, luckily for you, I have the perfect example that I covered with The Underdog Effect.
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⛔ And going back to the topic of “founder”, here’s what the founder of Ridge said were his three biggest mistakes.
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See you next Thursday,
Abhishek "Founder" Shah