I was perusing the interweb doing some reading on storytelling and came across this fantastic article by Jonah Sachs, CEO of branding agency Free Range Studios, and author of Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future. Jonah clearly explains to basic fundamentals of the importance and (possibly more important) process of good storytelling. Once brands (individuals, products or organizations) recognize the importance of telling a story to their audience, they can begin to develop the skills to do so effectively. Enjoy.
As the media landscape continues to evolve, audiences are gaining more and more control over the information they view and share. To remain relevant, brands need to know how to tell compelling stories to reach them.
Traditional messages in the old broadcast style — exalt your product and tell your audiences why they need it now — are at best overlooked and forgotten; at worst, ridiculed. But successful stories, such as Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches, can garner 150m YouTube views in a couple of months and supercharge brand awareness and loyalty — without talking about the product at all. This is what success looks like for brands that shift from broadcast messaging to storytelling.
The transformation begins by realizing that your brand is nothing more than an ongoing story–a set of meaningful emotional experiences unfolding between itself and your audiences. Just like stories, brands can be inspiring, clear and actionable, or self-important, bland and confusing. The inspiring ones light up social networks, passing virally from storyteller to storyteller. The others instantly disappear.
Here are four simple steps that will help your brand become effective at storytelling.
I was reading Seth Godin’s blog this morning and this stood out to me:
When you sell unlimited hope…
then all news is bad news. That’s because news is fact, what happened, not hope, and the truth can’t possibly be as good as the hope was.
The problem with marketing promises that spin out of control, that pile expectations on top of dreams, is that when reality appears, when the quarterly numbers or the new policies or the final product arrives, it will inevitably disappoint.
This is the challenge of the Kickstarter artist, the growth stock CEO and the well-published author. Dreams are irresistible, but they will never match reality when it finally appears.
The desire to promise the world is nearly uncontrollable sometimes. If you do this then everything will be alright. If you follow me, then life will be better. If you buy my new CD, it will change you forever.
Chances are, even if they are beneficial, they will not meet the expectations put on them. The old proverb says, “For though a righteous man falls seven times, he will get up again.” We get better though the journey, through mistakes and through failures.
Next time you’re selling something, consider whether your product is promising the world or supporting the journey. And consider which one will benefit your customer for the long haul. Which one will bring them back over the years?
If you think advertising is not about engagement and manipulating human behavior…you are missing something. But, it doesn’t have to be all evil and dirty. Imagine using these powers for good. If your brand, your product, or even YOU is actually going to benefit society in some way, why not find ways to engage and convince your future followers to pay attention and buy into your ideals. Utilizing color, smell, positive memories, music, or a vast array of other triggers to get your target audience to make a decision and even a commitment is key. Watch the video below to learn more about Psychology and Advertising. Enjoy.
Most of us are really creative (whether you believe that or not)…all the time, however we have been told that in order to be effective we must sort of shut that part down. When asked to pull from it, we can be confused and frustrated. Setting aside time in your day to unleash the creativity within…everyday, even if you think you don’t need to…is part of the key.
Diving into the “realm of possibilites” without allowing excuses or difficulties to control your session is an amazing discipline.
Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
(Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 5)
Turning the creative madness into effective ideas that will change the world is the next step. Take your new creative ideas (as strange as some of them may be) and set milestones and a definitive goal.
Do this everyday. Choose which ideas are worth working on in the now…and which ones should be tabled.
As far as “on demand” goes…well, sometimes I feel life is like trying to focus intently on a thin line in the middle of a busy freeway of ideas. Like a kid with A.D.D….doing my best to focus. When provoked for an idea…it seems it may be as simple as looking around you…eyes open and grabbing all you can, like a an old lady in a game show money machine.
A new book by Todd Henry named, “The Accidental Creative” was referred by Michael Buckingham of HolyCowCreative on a post. It’s a book that supports you in establishing effective practices that unleash your creative potential…every day. Sounds like a great book…I’ll put it next to my signed copy of Linchpin…you know, so they can play.