What makes a great customer reference story?

Steve Ellis

29 March 2019

What makes a great customer story?

In a pitch recently I was asked for an example of great customer storytelling and I grabbed one of my favourite go to examples: Dell Technologies customer story on their client Callaway, the golf equipment manufacturer.

One of the videos is embedded above, and below there is a link to a web page with all the assets.

What are the ingredients of a great customer story?

1. The customer is the hero
Well sure, Callaway is a fantastic brand and golf is very photogenic but also the client needs to allow the customer to be the hero of their own story. Its about them, not you.

If clients step back and allow their customers to shine, others will seek you out for the same service and approach.

2. Passion beats hard sell, every time
In this example, the story allows the customer to talk to their complete focus upon the game of golf, the art and the science of it, down to every last detail.

This is obviously expressed through the words of the Callaway team but also in different edits of the story which drill into the physics of manufacture and materials measurement and improvement (the science bit, as they say).

3. Work it hard
Great content takes time and effort. When you have captured it, work it hard.

Visit the page link below and you'll see a variety of assets and formats each telling different aspects of the story. Each appealing to different audiences.

Content needs to be both accessible and shareable. Can you consume it on mobile? Can you share to LinkedIn? Is it worked through internal sales channels, as well as external marketing platforms?

And then when you have consumed the last morsel, are you offered more great content via next best story suggestions?

4. Be brave
Everyone talks 'emotional connection'. Few are brave enough to take the risks that come with it.

Look at the video on the web page that talks to Callaway and Dell’s work with veterans. It’s a difficult watch. But it places their partnership on a higher order, serving a far more important purpose, well beyond technology, or golf.

5. It's all about teamwork
Disclosure: Yes, Dell is a client. Yes, we had a hand in some of this work. But it also involved other agencies, Dell’s internal production teams, marketers, account managers and execs all pulling in the right direction.

The more talent applied, the better the outcome.