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Effective Story Telling: It's The Story That Makes The Difference -

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Effective Story Telling: It’s The Story That Makes The Difference

Effective Story Telling: It's The Story That Makes The DifferenceIf you have ever watched Shark Tank, you know how hard it is to create a product that will entice investors. A seasoned shark is unlikely to throw money at something that lacks mass appeal–unless the entrepreneur has a really good story.

Enter the Shackleton Banjo. Now banjos aren’t exactly a “must have” item for most people. But the Shackleton Banjo has a great story–one that may even pique the interest of the ogre-ish Kevin O’Leary. And this great story has made its creators, The Great British Banjo Company, one of Kickstarter’s biggest success stories ever.


The Shackleton Banjo is kicking some serious butt on Kickstarter, an online project that allows start-ups to raise funds by securing pledges. Approximately 57% of these projects receive no funding, and only 5% of projects ever raise more than $20,000. The Shackleton Banjo has earned almost four times as much, putting them in the top two percentile of all Kickstarter projects. That’s huge!

Everyone has a story – the art is in telling it right

While the banjo may be a far cry from its musical pariah counterpart, the dreaded accordion, it does not exactly have the following of a Fender Stratocaster either. Yet, the Shackleton Banjo seems to be resonating with music lovers everywhere. How has an instrument that is often associated with hillbillies and The Deliverance garnered so much enthusiasm and financial support? Quite simply put–The Great British Banjo Company is a master at branding and creating a back story that motivates people to reach for their wallets.

National pride.

The Great British Banjo Company uses more than its cleverly devised name to appeal to Brits. The Great British Banjo Company banjo proudly flaunts its “made in the United Kingdom at the hands of local artisans” label, adding that it is the first British-born banjo to enter the marketplace in over sixty years.

Affiliated with adventure.

When we think of the world’s greatest explorers, our minds conjure up images of brave men courageously staring danger in the face and going where no man has gone before. What could be cooler than that? By naming their mass market banjo after Sir Ernest Shackleton, the famous Antarctic explorer, this clever company has not only managed to further capitalize on British pride, but they have also transformed a “not so hip” instrument into one associated with adventure and mystery. In fact, they take it a step further and portray this tool of “vital mental medicine” as the real hero behind Shackleton’s adventures.

Social media marketing.

Another key ingredient in the Shackleton’s recipe for success is the clever use of social media to tie their marketing efforts together. Through harnessing the power of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, they manage to direct traffic to their Kickstarter fundraising page and spread the word about their brand.

Brand loyalty.

The Great British Banjo Company has greatly enhanced their “cool factor” by offering a diverse product line of branded clothing and other merchandise. Offering logo-bearing hoodies, tees, mugs, hats, guitar cases, stickers, and more, enables customers to gain a stronger connection to the brand while advertising the company name.

The Great British Banjo Company is a prime example of the power of a good story. If they can transform this unlikely instrument into one of Kickstarter’s biggest success stories, imagine what a product with mass appeal can accomplish. This proves that it’s not always about the product. Sometimes it’s all about the people and the story behind it.

The banjo.  Do you like it, love it, or want to smash it against a wall?

Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer, and avid blogger who actually loves the banjo. Her uncle has played one for years. She has written many articles on social media marketing and online reputation management.
Image courtesy of photos.com.

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2 Responses to “Effective Story Telling: It’s The Story That Makes The Difference”

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