Apr 22

If Your Customers Could Automatically Hear Your Product’s Story, What Would They Hear?

As cool as the concept is of new media, there are still some really great shows on old media. As of late, I have been fascinated by the NBC Show “Heroes”. A little late to the game I know, but hey, it’s better late than never.

On “Heroes”, there is a psychopathic killer named Sylar who kills other characters that have special abilities just so he can have them for himself. One of the abilities he acquired is the ability to sense an object or person’s history just by touching it.

Think about walking into a store and knowing where food was grown, where a garment was made, and who put it on the shelf. Think about your computers, cars, houses or antiques. Think about touching a person and knowing all the good and the bad he or she had ever done. If you could have this at your fingertips, would you even want it?

Every product and service has a story somewhere. As more and more information about these products and services comes out on the internet, you won’t have to be Sylar to figure out if it’s good or bad. You’ll know that your Puma shoes were made by young women working long hours for very little money. You’ll know that while the CMO of Unilever preaches about how marketers no longer own their brands, Unilever still produces “food” with trans-fat, which chemically isn’t a food at all and is a huge cause of cardiovascular disease. Whoops.

Some of these stories will be excessively harsh and sensationalistic. Some won’t be harsh enough. Eventually, there get to be enough stories to help you form a clearer idea of the truth. For in the words of Friedrich Nietzsche, “Perspectival seeing is the only kind of seeing there is, perspectival ‘knowing’ is the only kind of ‘knowing’, and the more feelings we get about a matter which we allow to come to expression, the more eyes, different eyes through which we are able to view the same matter, the more complete our ‘conception’ of it, our ‘objectivity’ will be.”

This isn’t speculation and is based on empirical evidence. Statistics show that there are more and more people participating on the web in every region and demographic. Internet and social media usage is going up in every single age demographic according to a Pew Research report. In just eight years, internet usage has increased over 1100 percent in Africa and 1296 percent in the Middle East. Twitter is a great way to find trends and opinions, and has gone from one million users to over ten million in one year.

Look around you. If you could hear the story of items around you by touching them or reading about them on the internet, would you like what you heard?

*P.S. Hopefully NBC won’t ask me to take this post down. Watch “Heroes” on Mondays at 9 PM EST/8 PM CST.