“The Borders execs just looked at me and said, ‘you can’t brand a publisher. You’re crazy,'” Nancy Traversy, told Peter Guber.
“This was in response to our belief that our company, Barefoot Books, would have its own boutique inside Borders book stores in which parents connect with their children through reading.” Barefoot’s core story was “about two moms struggling to start a business, making children’s books that place an equal emphasis on the quality of the words and the illustration – from real moms, working from home, juggling family, school and kids and understanding all thoroughly.”
Down but not out, Traversy looked for the essential elements within her story that could solve her problem and found a new approach for distribution and marketing. “We’d get e-mails and thank-you cards from moms saying, ‘Thank god, someone out there is producing high-caliber books for children. You clearly care about me connecting with my kids through reading and sharing beauty, and not a lot of publishers do.’ If we could harness that sentiment, we wouldn’t need the chains to showcase our brand. These women could be our marketing and distribution network!”
Home selling actually was the most logical way to distribute a brand that had been conceived and produced at home from the very start. By encouraging these Barefoot ambassadors to tell and sell their own stories of Barefoot Books to their friends and neighbors, Traversy realized she could incite a cadre of emotional investors to sell her brand forward. Telling that story instantly sparked a very grassroots word of mouth and instant success.
MORE ABOUT TELL TO WIN
To validate the power of telling purposeful stories, Guber includes in this book a remarkably diverse number of ‘voices’ – master tellers with whom he’s shared experiences. They include YouTube founder Chad Hurley, NBA champion Pat Riley, clothing designer Norma Kamali, “Mission to Mars” scientist Gentry Lee, Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, former South African president Nelson Mandela, magician David Copperfield, film director Steven Spielberg, novelist Nora Roberts, rock legend Gene Simmons, and physician and author Deepak Chopra.
After listening to this extraordinary mix of voices, you’ll know how to craft, deliver – and own – a story that is truly compelling, one capable of turning others into viral advocates for your goal.