Connect with your customer using a metaphor

Back a few years (unfortunately too many, sighs), I took part in one of the most rewarding activities as a University student: a creative writing workshop. Then as luck would have it, I had a chance to help by organising some activities, inviting guests and so on. (I had never thought it, but that is how my academic career began).

Anyway. It was there that the tutor, a successful novelist, advised us to start from the heart of things, rewind the tape to the starting point and continue developing the story. “In medias res!” he exclaimed, using a Latin expression. 

I ended up reading novels and watching movies with different eyes. A transformation was taking place and would serve me well during my career as a corporate branding strategist. But there is more: the importance of metaphors, which the Greek philosopher Aristotle remarked.

“The greatest thing by far is to be a master of metaphor.”


Why is that the case? As Paul Furlong argues in his Rule the World. Master the power of storytelling to inspire (Fisher King Publishing), they allow the brand builder to create a symbolic playground to connect with their audiences. 

Therefore, to figure out what metaphor could suit our needs, we must ask our customers. How do they see our company? What are their feelings? Their frustrations, and so on. 

Indeed, if there is a mistake that many communications experts make is telling the story of the company or the story of its founders! As I always say to my entrepreneurship students, the story of your company is the story of your customers. Escape your ego trap. It is about them, not you. 

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Pexels. An internationally published photographer, he says to be “inspired mostly by great artists, particularly from the abstract expressionism movement of the 50s as well as some great photographers who pioneered the use of colour film in the early 40s and 50s.”