Stories Infect Anything They Touch With Value (If You Tell Them Right)

John Hockenberry

“An object imbued with intent – it has power, it's treasure, we're drawn to it. An object devoid of intent – it's random, it's imitative, it repels us. It's like a piece of junk mail to be thrown away.” -John Hockenberry, Born Jun. 4, 1956.

People seldom desire an object for the physical properties of the thing.

The products people purchase are often about the PURPOSE that the buyer believes that object can fulfill for them.

You can help them see the intention embedded in the items you sell. Encourage them with your copy.

Buying the thing is a statement of intention. The purchase is a part of the path to fulfilling some kind of destiny.

How can you do this? How does one imbue an object with intent? Answer:

Who made it?
For what purpose?
How is it unique?
Why is it the way it is?
What villain does it vanquish?
What benefits can it impart?

That's not a complete list, but it will help you begin to carve out a story – a will – for your product. It imparts almost a sense of sentience. Of consciousness.

The product doesn't just help your prospect solve their problems… It WANTS to help them. It exists to help them. It was destined to help them, created to fulfill that purpose.

That's the shit people want. All this other shit is crap.

For an example of this, consider the movie Pulp Fiction. The story of Bruce Willis going back to his apartment for the watch, even after the gangsters are looking for him…

Why would he do that for some crummy old cheap watch?

Because of the INTENT and POWER it is imbued with – it becomes treasure. Valuable enough to risk one's life for.

Where does that perception of value come from? From Christopher Walken's speech to young Butch. That monologue is essentially a magical spell that turns a cheap old timepiece into a priceless talisman, worth so much more than mere money.

Of course, there are a million examples – I just happened to see Pulp Fiction last night.

If you've seen it too, you should get what I'm laying down here.

Elevate your ability to sell stuff by describing the stuff as more than stuff. It's deluxe stuff, with a history and a pedigree and a purpose and an intention… Just for you.

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