For Great Customer Stories, Why Not Turn To Our Greatest Storyteller?

For Great Customer Stories, Why Not Turn To Our Greatest Storyteller? | Center for Customer Engagement

I refer to Pixar Studios, which, since being taken over by Steve Jobs (and headed up by John Lasseter), has cranked out mega-successful story-after-story that audiences can’t get enough of: 27 academy awards, approaching $10B in revenues for its films (an average of more than $600 M each).

Pixar actually has a formula (or “story spine”) they use for all of their films. And it’s a lot more fun (and compelling) than “Business, Challenge, Solution, Result, Benefits” (zzzzzzzzzz...).

Here it is:

Once upon a time there was _______

Every day __________

One day ________

Because of that _______

Because of that _________

Until finally __________

Just for fun, I did a Google search for “customer success story,” and pulled off one that came up from CA Technologies.  You can see it, here. Since it’s public, I adapted the same story to the Pixar story spine. Here it is, with my (and Pixar’s) compliments.

Air Force Gives Scientists Ability to Protect the Nation, Real Time

Once upon a time the Air Force built a majestic new research laboratory to create leading-edge war fighting capabilities to keep us safe in a dangerous world. It was called AFRL (Air Force Research Laboratory)

Every day its brilliant and eager researchers struggled mightily with slow reporting and lack of information for its 6,000 projects—many of which were urgently needed for the safety of our nation.

One day it began installing CA Project & Portfolio Management, software designed to instill clarity and efficiency into the most complex and confounding organizations.

Because of that AFRL’s best and brightest began getting real-time, accurate visibility into its many and far flung projects.

Because of that they could make more accurate decisions and implement better solutions much faster—like a great doctor can when she has all the information she needs about you, when you’re right there in her presence and need her help the most.

Until finally AFRL’s projects–so vital to our security–began moving forward rapidly enough to keep pace with the minds of the Air Force’s brilliant scientist-defenders.

I leave it to you. Which story would you rather purchase a ticket to see?

Bill Lee

Bill’s passion is helping clients reinvent customer relationships that achieve significant growth through the creation of highly engaged “rock star” customers and the powerful communities they build. These represent a huge, often untapped opportunity in today’s buyer-driven world. Bill has pioneered the concept that customer relationships constitute the most important—yet often “hidden”—off-balance-sheet asset in companies large and small, public and private.

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