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Don't sell chips. Sell a worldview.

“Dad?” said Jack Jr., a ten-year-old boy.

“Yeh?” said Jack Sr.

“Can we get this?” said Junior, holding up a bag of chips.

"Whatever you're selling, make sure it appeals to a specific worldview — that's what it means to “tell” a marketing story."



“Because we don’t eat potato chips,” said Senior. “We eat healthy. You know that. Put them back.”

Junior turned around and dragged his feet back to where he found the chips. He tracked his steps back through the supermarket, back to the Snacks aisle. Then he placed the chips back with the other brightly colored bags displaying magnified images of salty, thin, fried potato slices.

Of course, Senior would never see these bags in the first place because he never goes down the Snacks aisle. There’s nothing there for him.

He eats healthily — and so does his family.

Senior’s worldview conflicts with the product.

Now, as a marketer, your goal isn’t to change his worldview. Your goal is to align with it.

That is, frame your story in a way that fits flush with how Senior wants to live his life. Otherwise, he won't even pay attention to your story, much less buy into it.

Tell Senior the story he WANTS to hear.

Show him chips that come in a box, not a bag. An earthy, natural, forest-green box with brown text that reads:

How to sell chips to people who don't eat chips [ART].JPG
  • ‘Made from soy, not potatoes’
  • ‘Non-GMO’
  • ‘Organic’
  • ‘Low-fat’
  • ‘Baked’

Call the product something ironic and simple, like WoodChips.

And don't put it in the Snacks aisle. Instead, PAY to slot it in the Produce section, by the avocados and apples and blackberries (where Senior likes to shop). 

All this will tell Senior a very different story, one he can get behind (especially if it makes his son happy).

Whatever you're selling, make sure it appeals to a specific worldview — that's what it means to "tell" a marketing story.

“Dad? said Junior. “Can we get this?”

“What is it?” said Senior, taking the box and looking it over.

“WoodChips,” said Junior. "They're healthy!"

Healthier, at least,” said Senior. “Okay, let's try them.”


“Hurry,” he winked. “Put ‘em in the cart before I change my mind.”


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