It's a necessary prerequisite for persuasion. (Good post on how to understand another's point of view.
Karen Dietz's insight:
It's easy to say, "Hey, just tell a story and you'll start a relationship."
But if our stories do not connect to the person's real needs and issues, we are whistling in the wind.
So understanding your audience -- whether as an individual or as a group -- is critical for your biz stories to make a difference.
Which is why I selected this article. I don't find too many posts on this topic, which is one reason why I brought it in to this collection. And it is also a really good article.
The authors provide specific steps and questions to ask that will allow you to connect more directly with your audience. They will come away from the convesation/story sharing with you saying, "He/she really got me!" That's a double-entendre by the way :)
I hope you get some great ideas from this article, and that your influence skills continue to soar.
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.
Karen Dietz's insight:
What a great post that everyone can use to help them design their product or service better -- starting out with the customer experience.
How do you get at the customer's experience? Well, by talking with customer first. Then by using storytelling and story techniques to design your product or service based on how people interact with it.
Not sure how to get started? Then this article by Braden Kowitz will help. He makes some great tips you can start playing with. The article is not a step-by-step how-to though, which is unfortunate. But it will allow you to begin the process and make some discoveries as you go along.
Many thanks to fellow curators Giuseppe Mauriello and Baiba Svenca for both suggesting this article to me!
Customers own the story of the brand now. What brands say is far less important than what brands actually do to serve the well being of the faithful. Whereas before, the brand conversation was based on delivery and interruption, successful...
Karen Dietz's insight:
What a great article that goes a long way in de-mystefying brand storytelling!
I particularly like the emphasis on brand storytelling creating deep affinity if done right, that chemistry is part of the equation, and that it is a strategic imperative, not a promotional tactic.
With these attitudes in mind, this brings brand storytelling out of the realm of mere transaction into an ongoing relationship between company and customer.
The authors Derrick Daye and Brad VanAuken then go on to talk about the drivers of brand storytelling: purpose, method, and opportunity.
I wish they had included company examples -- good, bad, or indifferent -- to illustrate their points. Nevertheless, their article does help us all know the steps we need to take to either create or further enhance our brand storytelling.
I've rescooped this article from fellow curator John Kratz because I thought it was so good. It is a great example of how a company ramped up business once it started sharing stories of its customers -- with customers as the heros. Take notes folks! And thanks John for finding and sharing this article.
The year is 2008 and you are in the Financial Services Business.
"How do you turn a quiet, sales-driven organization into a B2B marketing powerhouse?"
"Consider the story of Lincoln Financial Group, a traditionally sales-centric organization... The 106-year-old financial services, insurance, and annuities company..."
"Lincoln Financial had previously conducted research showing that the more people take charge of their lives, including their finances, the better they feel about the direction of their lives."
"While others in the category seemed to be drawn to using fear in their advertising, we felt the time was right to try a new, more optimistic approach."
"...the campaign showcased a video of women of all ages showing how they take charge of their lives and provided educational content to help women do just that. The PR focused on the research results. The Chief Life Officer ads continued the "take charge, optimistic theme," which was reinforced in social media.
See photos of your souvenirs and the stories behind them.
Well, here's nifty little example of customer engagement with storytelling. It's the New York Times curating little anecdotesfrom readers about travel souveniers. The pieces are short and quick, and each one has a photo attached of the souvenier.
What a lovely way to connect and hear from their readers!
Now -- can you do something similar in your business?
In our social media-infused world, traditional marketing logic just doesn't work.
I had earmarked this article to share with you awhile ago and just found it again when cleaning up my emails. Better late than never!
Here's what I love about this post -- it makes no bones about the fact that marketing is changing. And if you haven't gotten with the program, get on board quick!
Now, I don't agree that ALL traditional marketing techniques are dead. But the author Bill Lee sure does make a great case explaining how things are changing. And his statistics are riveting.
And I also like that he shares with us what we need to do to stay with the curve:
Getting into community marketing
Identify and promote customers that bring value (and not just based on how much they buy)
Help your customers build social capital
Involve your customers in creating solutions together
What's story got to do with it? Stories are the way the points above happen. It's all about the stories you share, listen to, promote, ask for, engage with, and retell. And hint hint -- these are your customer stories mostly!
Go read the article for all of Lee's insights. This will post will definitely get you thinking differently.
If you want a seamless guest experience your hotel needs to have a story Heres an example how to turn story ...
This is a quick yet very insightful article linking the interior design of a hotel, storytelling, and women's liberation.
"Whaaaaattttt??!!" you say. Yep. It's a perfect example of how a hotelgot creative and leveraged storytelling in order to market themselves more effectively, and increase sales.
The post about a New York City hotel that originally opened as the Hotel Martha Washington. It was the first hotel in the country specially designed for women only. Based on the the building's history, the new owners of the hotel created a persona that typified women who stayed at the hotel.
From there they created interior designs that connected together its history, the contributions of 12 women to our world, their identified persona, and their marketing efforts. Brilliant!
I love how this company translated storytelling into the physical world through its interior designs. More companies need to be doing this for enhancing both employee and customer experiences/engagement.
For all the details, go read this article. Like a chocolate truffle, it's small but rich with a lasting impression!
Storytelling is by far the most underrated skill when it comes to business. Gary Vaynerchuk, master marketer and entrepreneur Even...
Karen Dietz's insight:
What a succinct piece this is showing the significance of story sharing to promote word of mouth marketing. Which we all love and desire.
The author, Jon Thomas, gives us nice stats of results companies have experienced using stories. And I like his point that in the old advertising model, 2% conversion was the goal. Today it is 100% engagement, and that word of mouth marketing through storytelling is the way to get there.
He then goes on to talk about how to create a brand narrative. That piece of the article is a bit more conceptual with less how-to tips. But what I do like is how he suggests sharing biz stories, and then gives examples.
Near the end of the article Thomas discusses the leap companies need to take to really stimulate word of mouth marketing. It is part of offering an experience that people will share stories about. I like how that gets me thinking!
The examples shared here are really good, and I know you will benefit from them. Yeah for word of mouth marketing!
Here's the 3rd article in 2 days about ways to improve our listening skills. Well, all I can say is, it must be time to focus on listening :)
This is what I love about this article that fellow curator Ken Jondahl found: it talks about the 4 types of listening we typically do. And how to avoid those experiences. And how to engage in the kind of listening that does produce powerful insights and results. Yeah.
So go listen better and have fun practicing this weekend!
Online conversion forms like PayPal’s registration page (right) are invariably formatted exactly like printed forms such as this credit card application (left)—approximately as fun to complete as a hazing ritual, despite having exactly the opposite...
I love love love this article because it points to another new application for using narrative or story elements in your business. Specifically here -- by re-designing the web forms on your site. Or frankly ANY form you ask a customer to fill out. Who knew??!!
The examples here are terrific and so are the tips. It is a very thorough article and one you will get a lot from.
A brand is like the lead character of its own story. And like any story character, brands have values and beliefs that become associated with them through their actions. The challenge for marketers is to characterize their brands first before...
Here's a terrific infographic from colleague Jim Signorelli that will help you create a persona for your business. Once you have a persona, it becomes much easier to target your storytelling and marketing/branding efforts. And connect more forcefully with customers.
There are 2 ways of finding your persona:
Examine all of your stories and determine their common characteristics. Then look at Jim's infographic to refine and finalize those qualities. Create your persona based on your discoveries.
Examine this infographic to determine which character/characters you think you/your business embodies most. Check it against your stories. Build your persona from there.
What is a persona? It is a descriptive profile of a typical customer that includes a character type/archetype, demographic info, and as much flesh and bones information you can collect to create a bit of a story about this customer -- their likes, dislikes, challenges, etc.
Thanks Jim for putting together this very helpful infographic.
And if you want to dig into this topic more -- and get even smarter about using archetypes for marketing/branding -- read The Hero and The Outlaw; Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes by M. Mark & C. Pearson. It's one of my bibles :)