Buying into the story

TheTileApp.comIn Seth Godin’s book ‘All Marketers are Liars’ he talks about the importance of all companies having a story to tell – that we don’t buy into a particular product or service but we do buy into the story that it makes us feel we’re living.

Last month I bought into a story so good that on telling several friends of this company, they took my word, went home and immediately ordered the product too.

The company is called Tile and they have one product – also called Tile. It’s a small transponder that you can stick to anything you like and then track its whereabouts via your iPhone or Android device. As someone who’s had two cycles stolen in the past eighteen months I wish I’d have stuck a Tile to them beforehand. A friend said he’d like to attach one to his dog’s collar. Another said to his child’s frequently lost, and expensively replaced, school sports bag. These Tiles cost about $20 each. But that’s not the story.

The story is that even if you buy it now, they can’t deliver it to you until late summer. If you ordered pre-Christmas, you’re due around Easter. Scarcity is the story. The website talks about two guys in the US who had this idea, tinkered around with it and are now, very slowly, able to ramp up manufacture. And their homepage prominently tells you “With your help, 49,586 backers preordered Tiles totaling $2,681,297.” So you’re buying in to the whole crowd-funding ethos too, which means you don’t resent it when your credit card is charged upon order, even though you have to wait months for delivery.

I think this was honestly the first web ad I can remember clicking on in the past ten years. A rare case of marketing and sales perfectly aligned. I want them to succeed.

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