Loving the Hypertext at MarketingProfs

Some days the hypertext does a great job. Other days, it doesn’t matter how many times you click you end up no where of interest. But today is a good day.

I am sure that most of you know how great MarketingProfs can be, so I won’t bore you. But today I was surprised to see my buddy Mike Wagner at the top of the page. Nice article about brands that people hate (and love too).

And as I looked around, something caught my eye. An article by Alain Thys which looks at the Ten Truths of Branded Storytelling. Cool … I am always up for such an article. I like his first “truth” … the need to uncover your USP — unique story proposition (I love an acronym that surprises me). There is also more than a little truth to guiding people to the USP and then watching the wheels kick into motion … there is also some danger in such an approach.


I remember working with a professional services company who actually did understand their USP. It was “collaboration” or “partnership”. But everyone speaks about these things … these words have been devalued by corporations and emptied of meaning. So a couple of the sales managers half jokingly came up with a slogan that was accurate, but smutty — and, to my horror, it stuck. Then slowly, but surely, the phrase started working its way into the company lexicon (isn’t that a great word?). I started hearing it more often. THEN one day I read it in a proposal that I was reviewing.

This was one USP that had gone too far. Everytime I heard it I could feel myself cringe with embarrassment. I could see clients flinch when they heard it. And the more it was talked about, the bolder everyone became about saying what became (for me at least) — UNSPEAKABLE.

What we needed was an intervention. A storytelling intervention. An editor with a big stick.

A USP is a great idea … but just make sure that the story you want told is the one that everyone is telling. Don’t make me slap you.


2 thoughts on “Loving the Hypertext at MarketingProfs

  1. Thanks for the encouraging words about my Daily Fix posting!
    More importantly, Alain’s posting really is good. I can see why you picked up on USP.
    I had a first yesterday. I have for eight years ask groups to give me a one word definition of “brand”. Lots of answers, all good. But yesterday was the first time someone said “story”.
    Maybe we’re on the edge of seeing a renewed interest in storytelling.
    I’d be all for that!

  2. I hear you, Mike. There’s definitely a trend I’ve noticed, too.
    Well, I’ve noticed that along with all those feet wearing Crocs!
    : )

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