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Why strategic storytelling is an important part of product management?

Storytelling is the most effective way to put ideas out in the world. Understanding where your product is heading towards, is essential to have a strong narrative in place and storyboarding is an art that should be learned and mastered.

A Product Manager's job is to not just put out products into the market but also articulate why customers need these products in their everyday lives. This is well portrayed in Donald Miller's Building a StoryBrand.

Isn't it pretty simple! Even if you have a leading product in your industry domain, you could still lose to a subservient competitor if their team knows how to present a clearer and more compelling picture of how their product will benefit customers!

Aspiring Product Managers must often think about how a storyline could really change everything and create or breakdown frameworks and strategies?

On retrospecting, most of the product managers start by typically explaining all attributes such as the features-spec, price-points, performance metrics , variations, among others, but what they tend to miss is the emotional connection that drives customers’ decisions. Creating a journey based narrative about your product can motivate, captivate, and inspire not only your own team involved in the development, management, and stakeholders; but your users as well.

To be honest, most marketers and branding experts do believe that people buy stories, not products. With that, I think by now, we can figure how important the art of storytelling in the arsenal of a product manager.

But wait, you must master the What, Why, and How that goes behind this art of storytelling!

  • Always begin your stories with WHAT is your company’s purpose, cause, or belief.

  • Every product has something we call a North Star, the idea comes into play as to WHY you want to translate a particular idea into your competitive advantage, the driving force indeed. This is what sets you apart from other businesses with similar products.

  • It's important that people around you believe in your story and once they do, tell them HOW you are going to pursue it.

Now let’s discuss some of the proven storytelling techniques that will help you build your story and make your product stand out:

  • Start with a theme/central idea, you must always target the big picture.

  • Understand and converse about the user problem first.

  • When all sorted, develop/curate a plot.

  • Feed your audience with some information, share your learnings.

  • Being solution-oriented consider multiple possibilities and prepare a list of all good alternatives.

  • Give the users' an understanding of the solution you have worked on.

  • Here comes the end to your story, show them the impact that your product has created!

The crux is to have clear goals and the timeframe defined to reach your goal. In short, would just like to leave you guys with something new that I recently picked up is the concept of the Holy Triangle and how it relates to the Storytelling Approach in Product Management.

Typically, the triangle demonstrates the relationship between three critical factors that influence a project, namely time, cost, and quality.

It will definitely help you in your storytelling quests!

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