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Storytelling in business
How storytelling can help your business improve and sell more products and services.
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The Importance of Creating Context in Business Storytelling

The Importance of Creating Context in Business Storytelling | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Lev Kuleshov edited a montage of pictures together to tell three different stories. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gGl3LJ7vHc The Russian  was praised for his film and the actor for the way he was...
Brandon Hoe's insight:

As storytellers, part of our responsibility is to create context for the stories we tell. Without context, the stories can be ambiguous, or worse yet, make our audience react strongly in a way that's the opposite of how we want them to react. 
In the short film montage that Russian filmmaker and film theorist, Lev Kuleshov shot at the beginning of the 20th century, he uses the same shot of a man and combines it with three other unique and different shots to create three separate and distinct moods. The mood of each is distinctly different and the message each story conveys is heavily influenced by the shot that the shot of the man is paired with. The juxtaposition of the second shot with the shot of the man creates context and shifts how the man is perceived.

As business storytellers, we have the ability to influence how our stories are perceived by creating the proper context. This can take many forms and include the mood and tone of our voices, our appearance when we tell the story in person, the medium through which our stories are told and the imagery we use. We should pay attention to these things in order to help us create the context that leads to positive results for us.

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Is the future of storytelling in business 140 characters or 6 seconds long?

Is the future of storytelling in business 140 characters or 6 seconds long? | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
 

In this age of increasing information sharing and decreasing attention spans, two services seem primed to be the conduit through which a lot of storytelling will occur. Twitter and Vine
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From the pages of my blog on storytelling in business - www.bizstoryteller.com

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NBCUniversal: “Transmedia storytelling will be a part of Social TV” | IP&TV News

NBCUniversal: “Transmedia storytelling will be a part of Social TV” | IP&TV News | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Lisa Hsia, executive vice-president of Bravo Digital Media at NBCUniversal, gives us five predictions for the Social TV industry over the next few years.
Brandon Hoe's insight:

The business of storytelling on TV will soon change drastically and the emergence of transmedia storytelling will accompany the revolution in television. Television will become more engaging and interactive, social TV will become the de facto standard and opportunities for commerce using television will be more pervasive and extend beyond infomercials and shopping channels.

Imagine a day when you help to decide what happens on your television screen and determine the outcomes of stories you watch. Beyond just determining the direction of the stories, you'll be able to purchase the clothes or watches or shoes that the characters are wearing, in real time, as you're watching the content. TV will cease to become a mono-directional vehicle for storytelling and instead, be an extension of our social selves.

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How Siemens uses storytelling to emotionally engage clients and staff

How Siemens uses storytelling to emotionally engage clients and staff | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Keith Ritchie, storyteller at Siemens, talks to Marketing about his role as a storyteller and just how powerful telling a story can be to engage clients, potential clients, and staff. What does story-telling mean to you?
Brandon Hoe's insight:

Keith Richie, a storyteller at Siemens, describes how Siemens uses storytelling in corporate communications, media relations, corporate affairs and other areas of the company. He states that storytelling has been used at the company to help convince prospective customers that their needs can be met by Siemens, even if the story that the prospective customer reads doesn't necessarily relate directly to their particular industry or field of expertise.

 

In an example of using storytelling internally, Richie describes Siemen's attempt to create a culture of safety in the organization by using the story of an employee who lost an eye when he was a young apprentice. The use of authentic, first-person storytelling conveys a powerful message to the audience, making the effort effective.

 

Richie also describes how he uses each story that he creates across multiple media channels to amplify the reach of that story and to help ensure that the ROI on the investment to create each story is maximized. He says, "We use a full mixture of channels. We would use it at trade shows, we use it on the iPad for Salesforce, we use it in print material, we use it in advertising, we use it online, social media. You’ve still got to take a multi-channel approach to reach your audience."

 

 

 

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Jill Beech's curator insight, November 18, 2013 2:08 AM

Story telling is so powerful, we can use this in the NHS to learn from patient experiences. The story creates the emotional response, this causes a change in our brain ( thank you Alys) which makes it stick, it changes behaviours. Powerful indeed.

 

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Customers Want Emotional Connections, Not Data

Customers Want Emotional Connections, Not Data | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Dad, I have a dream. I want to sell my ideas.”

I was 13 years old. My father looked at me in the way parents sometimes look at their crazy children and said, “Son, I think we have a problem.”
Brandon Hoe's insight:

You can replace "dream" with story and the article will have even greater impact and relevance. Dreams, after all, are stories about our futures and how we envision the narrative of our lives unfolding. 

 

 

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Google Creative Lab Links Product to Stellar Storytelling | Special: Digital Conference - Advertising Age

Google Creative Lab Links Product to Stellar Storytelling | Special: Digital Conference - Advertising Age | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
robert wong, cco of google creative lab, spoke about the intersection of product development and stoytelling at the ad age digital conference in new york.
Brandon Hoe's insight:

Google is one of the most innovative high-tech companies on the planet. Interestingly, they view storytelling as a vital part of their product development and product marketing strategies. 

This article in AdAge describes the vital part that storytelling plays in the invention of Google Glass, the Augment Reality display/wearable computing device that Google recently launched in limited beta. Robert Wong, Chief Creative Officer at Google Creative Lab states, "Storytellers can invent the future".

In "Dear Sophie", a Google ad that highlighted a new father's email messages to his daughter, Wong combined heartfelt messages with humor to convey his message. Similarly, in the "Parisian Love" video, which is ostensibly a Google Search ad, Wong and his team crafted a moving narrative that gave the product centerstage without ever making it seem as if they were selling you anything.

Google uses storytelling pervasively because they know that stories can help form emotional connections. As Maya Angelou once said, "People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel."  

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How One Do-Gooder Startup Is Using Storytelling To Get People To Care About Its Brand

How One Do-Gooder Startup Is Using Storytelling To Get People To Care About Its Brand | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Most of the brands that tout social good as one of their selling points--think Warby Parker and Toms Shoes--realize that storytelling is important.
Brandon Hoe's insight:

Nonprofits and social causes have long been aware of the power of storytelling to achieve the impact they seek. In this example, a new brand with a social mission uses the power of storytelling to successfully fund their Kickstarter campaign and get their message out to the masses. Using transmedia storytelling techniques that combine video, music and street art to support their efforts, Soma expects to be a participatory brand i.e. one that engages their customers as a vital partner in their mission, instead of merely selling them water filters.

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Analytics and emotion: Why storytelling may be the best friend of data science I By Qaalfa Dibeehi

Analytics and emotion: Why storytelling may be the best friend of data science I By Qaalfa Dibeehi | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Many of us would like to believe that we base our important business decisions on well grounded facts. It does not take much looking around to realise that the data do not necessarily support the decisions being made.
Brandon Hoe's insight:

Excellent article that supports the assertion that a data scientist's ultimate job is storytelling.

There's no denying that data-driven decisions are better than those without data. However, most data sets capture only numbers and no software tool produced to date can capture human intent and emotion. When we derive decisions purely from numerical data, we are working with incomplete data. Numbers and charts don't give us the entire view of a situation. By overlaying stories over the findings, we make it easier to understand what we've discovered and make good decisions from those findings. Storytelling also makes it easier for us to share our decisions and convince others of their virtue.

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Infographics for Marketing: Five Steps on the Road Less Traveled

Infographics for Marketing: Five Steps on the Road Less Traveled | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Cadient Group
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The goal of infographics is to tell a visual story that supports the narrative goals of the company or organization that commissioned them. A successful infographic doesn't merely inform, it drives audience actions. Here are some great tips on how infographic designers can achieve those goals.

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How storytelling could transform your future

How storytelling could transform your future | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
I recently talked to someone who was interested in making a career switch and was considering going to b-school to help her with the transition. Lucy (not her real name) said that she was thinking of
Brandon Hoe's insight:

From the pages of my blog about storytelling in business, www.bizstoryteller.com

Storytelling can have positive effects in career advancement and professional development. 

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Why We Need Storytellers at the Heart of Product Development | UX Magazine

Why We Need Storytellers at the Heart of Product Development | UX Magazine | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Brandon Hoe's insight:

In this post for UX Magazine, Sarah Doody does an amazing job of making the case for the need for storytellers to be involved during the process of creating and managing the development process for new products. She submits that businesses ranging from startups to large corporate entities often focus on the how and what of products before understanding the why.

 

Having spent several years as a product manager, I saw firsthand how companies drove product development forward without first really understanding the target market that the products were being developed for. Sometimes, even simple things such as user personas were skipped because product development cycles were continually shrinking. Since the engineering design and testing stages couldn't be compressed, other parts of the process were sacrificed. The result is a product that might be amazing from a technical or aesthetic standpoint, but may lack adoption in the marketplace because they weren't tailored well to that audience.

 

Being able to articulate the story of why a product is being created is very powerful. A strong story results in a product that's better tailored to the target user and stronger buy-in from the people who work together to develop that product and bring it to market. This translates to better sales, stronger company morale and a happy customer.

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TECHNOLOGY: New ways to tell stories: Condition One

TECHNOLOGY: New ways to tell stories: Condition One | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
https://vimeo.com/43866507

The ways we come up with story ideas and the way we tell those stories are well documented and have proven themselves reliable over the years. However, one part of the st
Brandon Hoe's insight:

From the pages of my blog on storytelling in business, www.bizstoryteller.com.

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A Data Scientist's Real Job: Storytelling

A Data Scientist's Real Job: Storytelling | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Crunching numbers is only half the battle.
Brandon Hoe's insight:
This is a great article that describes the important role of storytelling in the world of big data. Citing a real world example that contained 350 million data points, the author provides tips for how to get past that massive amount of information to find actionable insights. The plan of action when telling a story with big data is this: 1. Look only for data that's relevant to the problem you're tackling 2. Present the data in a way that's easy to consume, i.e. using visual representations 3. Revisit the data to find additional insights 4. Use those insights to create your plan The parting quote is my favorite line in the article - "Data scientists want to believe that data has all the answers. But the most important part of our job is qualitative: asking questions, creating directives from our data, and telling its story."
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How to Tell a Better Story | Personal Branding Blog - Dan Schawbel

How to Tell a Better Story | Personal Branding Blog - Dan Schawbel | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Arrowsight CEO Adam Aronson is a handsome, intelligent, athletic, self-motivated and ingenious entrepreneur profiled last Sunday in the New York Times. He wrote
Brandon Hoe's insight:

We get few opportunities to tell our stories and when we do, the time we have to do so and make a good impression is short. It's vital that we craft our storytelling to maximize our chances of making a positive impact on our audience. 

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Human-Centered Design: Where are the Product Storytellers Today? | CustomerThink

Human-Centered Design: Where are the Product Storytellers Today? | CustomerThink | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Brandon Hoe's insight:

I've always been a strong proponent of using storytelling in the product development process, as traditional customer profiles are far too restricted in their ability to convey what product managers need to know to create hit products. 

 

In this article, Kathy Glotz-Guest provides a great example of how storytelling is used within the construct of design thinking to improve an existing product. The product she writes about is a cathether, a major source of hospital infections. By documenting and understanding the narrative of user actions, the marketing and development team determined that a new feature could be created that could easily address the problem of contamination. This is done with minimal intrusion into the users' regular behavior.

 

Closer to home, I recently met with an agency that's helping a manufacturer of home building and home improvement equipment to improve the design and sales processes of their products. They use storytelling at every step of the process, even going so far as to dress up as the users of their clients' products during pitches! Their director of market research said that this is an effective way for them to develop and share their proposals, as their clients "Immediately get it". 

 

Having a narrative to work with during the product development process helps product managers and designers to understand what happens at every step of users' action cycles. Instead of focusing on just the times when a product is most actively used, a story-driven approach allows us to understand how a product can be improved from a very holistic perspective. This comprehensive approach to product development provides additional utility to users of products that are born out of this process and helps the companies that use this approach to product development stand out from the competition.

 

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Storytelling: The Art of Moving People « The Portfolio Partnership

Storytelling: The Art of Moving People « The Portfolio Partnership | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Brandon Hoe's insight:

Here are some interesting tips from a recent discussion group organized by the American Marketing Association. On the whole, the tips are the same ones that I've been advocating for storytelling in business, but with a couple of great additions. The tips can be summarized as:

1. Know your audience.

2. Target your story to your audience.

3. Be authentic.

4. Be consistent.

5. Storytelling does not equal bragging.

 

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How can we tell stories with data?

How can we tell stories with data? | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
At a recent marketing conference which I presented at, I was approached by the director of market research at an ad agency to ask me for my opinion on a good way to tell stories with data. While t
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From the pages of my blog on storytelling in business - www.bizstoryteller.com

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Data Storytelling: The Ultimate Collection of Resources – Juice Analytics

Data Storytelling: The Ultimate Collection of Resources – Juice Analytics | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Brandon Hoe's insight:

Not much to add here aside from kudos for the work that went into creating this list of resources for data storytelling. Thanks to Juice Analytics for creating this great resource!

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Why good storytelling helps you design great products

Why good storytelling helps you design great products | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
It’s not uncommon for designers to confuse a beautiful looking product with one that works beautifully. A great technique for creating smarter, better products is to approach them using story-centered design.
Brandon Hoe's insight:

A great post from Braden Kowitz of the Google Ventures Design Studio on why great storytelling can help you to design great products. 

Story-centered design forces designers to imagine the experience that users of their products go through when using their products. By applying the time dimension to the product development process, designers are approaching product design by using a use-case scenario instead of focusing on snapshots of the user experience. This allows them to spot mistakes sooner and make the change more effective.  

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The Innovative Power Of Fiction For Entrepreneurs

The Innovative Power Of Fiction For Entrepreneurs | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
A simple suggestion for venture-inclined entrepreneurs looking to spark innovation: Crack open a novel.
Brandon Hoe's insight:

A really interesting take on storytelling in business that diverges from what I've focused on in the past.

 

In this article, Alan S Cohen makes the assertion that reading fictional stories can help us innovate better. Citing research done by University of Toronto professor, Keith Oatley, Cohen states that,

 

"Reading fiction helps by removing the denial that drains our imaginations. The ability to shift your thinking beyond simply accepting the conventional wisdom is frequently a key success factor in building an innovative company."

 

I've personally found that reading a lot of fictional stories as a child has provided me with the ability to be more receptive to off-the-wall ideas and different ways of approaching problems. Growing up on a steady diet of Enid Blyton-penned tales that include chairs that sprout wings, goblins, children who solve grown-up mysteries and magic faraway lands enabled me to take parallel and alternate views of the world, its people and the challenges associated with them both. 

 

Fiction at its best is fluid and bold and daring, and it doesn't know what failure is. An obstacle is only something to be circumnavigated and not a barrier that cripples. It might not be a bad idea if we all read a little bit more fiction. At the very least, we'll clear our minds to prepare ourselves for a new assault on a business challenge. At its best, it could possibly help us innovate and push the boundaries of what is possible for the challenges we face.

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Why Storytelling Matters in a High-Tech World

Why Storytelling Matters in a High-Tech World | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
A professor, journalist, and tech startup founder explains why writing is more important than ever, even in our STEM-obsessed times.
Brandon Hoe's insight:

We live in an era of business that's increasingly becoming cold, calculated and logical. Big data, virtual teams, digitized information, .... these are business trends that move us away from personal, human connections. However, humans are still very much at the core of all business transactions and we respond best to things that appeal to our emotions. 

In this article, Michael S. Malone, an instructor of professional writing at Santa Clara University, tells the story of his experience with his students and how he teaches them the practical side of storytelling in preparation for the jobs that they'll ultimately end up in. He also shares the story of how he used storytelling to help launch and advance his startup venture. 

What I found compelling about this article is the bold assertion that Malone makes about storytellers. He says, "Indeed, I’m increasingly convinced that a great storyteller is even more important to an institution than a great code-writer, an accomplished research scientist, and maybe even a talented CEO. That's true in the early days of a modern enterprise, when a company is trying to convince employees, investors, and partners to believe in a product or service that doesn’t yet exist. It's also true in later years, when a mature company needs a compelling story to maintain the loyalty of customers and employees, and to differentiate itself from competitors."

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The need to be authentic in your company’s storytelling.

The need to be authentic in your company’s storytelling. | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
I wrote for the campus newspaper and the Black Cultural Center on campus when I attended college at Purdue. Working under tight deadlines and carrying a full course load in engineering meant that
Brandon Hoe's insight:

From the pages of my blog about storytelling in business,www.bizstoryteller.com

Being authentic when you're telling your company's stories can reap many dividends.

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VIDEO: Great storytelling in business examples – Shangri La’s “It’s In Our Nature”

VIDEO: Great storytelling in business examples – Shangri La’s “It’s In Our Nature” | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ng7tikSf8pk

This is brand storytelling at its very finest. Renowned director, Bruno Aveillan takes us on a journey through a frozen hinterland and tells us the tale o
Brandon Hoe's insight:

From the pages of my blog on storytelling in business, www.bizstoryteller.com.

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Anjali Sharma's curator insight, December 8, 2013 3:30 AM

About 2 years ago , I was looking for a venue for a major event and I remember a Shangri La staff conducting a site inspection for me and she said - welcome to a place where people never grow old.. Very unusal ...and something that you want to hear more about .. She had a lot stories to tell me about what the brand stands for and now this video message - Making strangers our own - Its in our nature..Well done Shangri La .. You are leaders in the way hospitality brands represent themselves.. 

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Grow Your Social Media Relationships with Storytelling — socialmouths

Grow Your Social Media Relationships with Storytelling — socialmouths | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
How to craft and tell your story to truly stand out in the mind of your social media contacts.
Brandon Hoe's insight:

This is a great article about growing social media relationships using storytelling. It reminds us that the story needs to begin from the time our audience first connects with us, which is when they read our Twitter profiles or About information on our social networking pages.  

Once you've established who you are, tell stories that explains your company's product or service. For example, if you're a small business tax advisor, you could tell a story about how one of your clients was spending lots of time dealing with her tax issues and it was detracting from her core business. Then she came to you and you helped ease her tax concerns, allowing her to spend more time running her business and growing top line revenue. 

Whenever you write a story for your social media outlets, always keep in mind that your stories should be about your audience and not some self-serving prose. You can incorporate advice, tips or suggestions in your stories that help your clients with their issues.

Ultimately, storytelling is not about being perfect at writing stories, rather, it's about being able to connect with your audience on a human level. We've heard all too often that business is all about relationships. Storytelling in business helps us create those human, emotional connections that help us grow our business.

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VIDEO: Great storytelling in business examples – Google’s ‘Parisian Love’ | BizStoryTeller

VIDEO: Great storytelling in business examples – Google’s ‘Parisian Love’ | BizStoryTeller | Storytelling in business | Scoop.it
Brandon Hoe's insight:

From the pages of my blog on storytelling in business, www.bizstoryteller.com. One of my favorite examples of great storytelling.

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