I heard a nice use of the term ‘story’ today on BBC Radio 4. The interview was with John Lewis Managing Director Andy Street and he was being pressed on what he’d say to Morrissons about its stated aim to re-position itself and go after the discount supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi. Not surprisingly he didn’t want to comment on the strategy of another brand but he DID say something interesting about the John Lewis way of doing business.
The brand opened its first store in 1864 so understandably they’re making a fuss of their 150 year anniversary. It’s a very different world we live in now of course, but Street drew an interesting parallel between its modern marketing methods and its founding philosophy. He pointed out that 150 years ago John Lewis was based around a belief in personal service. They had, he claimed, tried very hard ever since to stick to their guns. Fast forward 150 years and personalisation now extends to the online world. John Lewis now has the technology to make its landing page display content which matches your tastes and preferences. In other words not every one sees the same page.
Street refers to this as the ‘story’ he wants to tell about the store. This is where story doesn’t mean anecdote, rather the ‘angle’ we want to promote. It’s a nice one too – same theory (personal service); just a different method.