You’ll probably get tired of hearing us say this (if you’re not already), but if you want to persuade someone to buy something from you—whether it is a product, service, or idea—you can’t just tell them the facts. Sure, there’s a time and place to tell potential consumers the rational benefits of what you’re selling, but if you really want to hook them, you have to tell them a story.

And not just any story. A good story, one they’ll believe—and believe in. The good news is, as humans, we believe what we want to believe. And once we believe something, it becomes a self-fulfilling truth.

It’s the reason people buy name-brand stuff, even though the off brand is typically the exact same thing with a much lower price tag. Take Cheetos. They are a tasty snack. But their off-brand counterpart is made with the same ingredients in a very similar manner and is just as pleasing to the tastebuds—yet Cheetos dominates the competition with more than 70% of the market share.

Why?

Because humans believe what we want to believe.

Cheetos has invested in a brand story built around a personified character that resonates with and attracts people to buy their products. They’ve invested time and money in quality ideas, presentation, and follow-through to create higher impact. Investing wisely in the small things has led people to believe in the Cheetos story, in the Cheetos brand. Cheetos has convinced people that their product tastes better, even though they’re essentially the same as the off-brand product, and because of that, people are willing to spend their money to get the Cheetos name.

So if you want to succeed, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What’s your story?
  2. Will the people who need to hear the story believe it?
  3. Is it true?

You have to take the time to tell your story, a story that resonates and becomes truth. Because people believe what they want to believe—and we want them to believe in you.

Source: All Marketers Tell Lies by Seth Godin