I was in Taiwan when I learned that some shoe brands are cheaper here – because they are made here.

Anyway, I needed new tennis shoes.

So I'd walk into any shoe store I come across when. I've always worn Nike, so I'd browse the Nike section.

Huh... They weren't cheaper.

Suddenly, a friend traveling with me said, "Hey, the Asics shoes seem cheaper. You should get them."

I put my eyes on a pair of Asics and put them on. It felt like a great fit. "Wow, this feels more comfortable than any Nikes I've worn"

"Yup, and they last longer too. Asics makes better tennis shoes."

Everything was right:

  • Good price. (Below RM250 for a pair of Asics)
  • Comfortable.
  • I liked the color – and design.
  • Perfect fit.

There's only one issue. It wasn't a swoosh logo on the shoe.

The stories we tell ourselves.

Each one of us has a story that we tell ourselves.

Mine was that I only wear Nikes. I've read Shoe Dog by the owner of Nike, Phil Knight. I loved Nike's message about being an underdog. I felt like an athlete every time I put on a pair of Nikes. I felt like I was taking in the spirit of all the Nike athletes. I loved that 'Nike' is a goddess of victory in Greek.

I mean, why do you think our marketing conference was named Underdog Con?

Was Nike selling shoes here? Or were they selling a story?

I'm irrational – and biased.

I started looking for all sorts of reasons why a pair of Asics wouldn't be for me. Maybe the color isn't great. Maybe it's cheaper back home. Maybe I don't need a new tennis shoe after all.

All because of a story I told myself.

That's my story. The magic is in realizing that your customers have their versions of the stories they tell themselves too.

The brilliant marketer learns to see and then tell stories that fit their customer's worldview.

Underdog Con is in one week.

It is an opportunity for us to show up, tune in to the stories of the speakers, learn to see – and build meaningful relationships with people who might just be the connection you need to grow your career.

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