[Hammock’s Current Idea Email was released today.
Subscribe now to receive your own issue, once every two weeks.]
the hammock idea email brings smart marketing ideas to your inbox


Idea: When Telling Your Brand Story, Remember Chekov’s Gun

When developing a strategy for using customer media and content to build long-term relationships with customers or members, always remember “Chekov’s gun.”

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s a dramatic principle based on writing advice given by Russian author Anton Chekhov. “Remove everything that has no relevance to the story,” he advised. “If you say in the first chapter that there is a rifle hanging on the wall, in the second or third chapter it absolutely must go off. If it’s not going to be fired, it shouldn’t be hanging there.”

What this means for marketers: Setting up a Facebook business page, launching a customer magazine or starting a video how-to series are the types of things marketers often introduce in the first chapter of what they want to be a long story chronicling their journey with loyal customers.

However, if you don’t follow up by consistently and regularly delivering valuable content through such channels, you’ve broken Chekov’s law. You’ve focused your customers’ attention on a gun that you fail to fire.

As with any great story, your marketing efforts should be free of everything that has no relevance to serving your customer or supporting your brand.

(Photo: Kliefi via Flickr)

The Idea Email is distributed free, once every two weeks, by Hammock, the customer media and content marketing company. Please share this with friends and colleagues who can subscribe here. We respect your privacy, and each mailing includes a one-click unsubscribe link. We typically feature one or more companies and organizations in each Idea Email. If any company we mention has a relationship to Hammock (as a current or former client, for example), we will include a disclosure.

the idea email benefits for your business