What's all the buzz among marketers about storytelling? Okay. Sell with stories. I get it. They work better than explicit hit-them-over-the-head-and-kick-them-in-the-behind-fact-based-and-really-boring-selling messages.
Jim Signorelli,Story-Lab's insight:
There is a very big difference between storytelling and StoryBranding. Not knowing the difference can make one smart enough to be dangerous.
The hidden persuader During the the race for the Presidency, we received daily news reports about how much money was being spent by whom, on what, when, where and why. An underlying assumption portrayed by the media is that...
A while back I wrote about Coca Cola’s content strategy and my disappointment in its execution.
I did qualify it by saying:
"There is no doubt that Coke have the right mentality and resources to tackle the challenges brought on by the digital age and a new empowered consumer, but they’ve yet to master the art of storytelling online.
Last year’s drop of the brand out of the top 10 most valuable brands shows how steep the hill is.
Coke’s got a long way to go before they can actually implement what they’ve so eloquently described as their vision “2020″. I for one will be watching this space."
The power of stories has become a part of our cultural dialogue. From articles in Fast Company to The New York Times, and applied across different topics from sports to business to marketing, story is the genre of choice for 2012.
Have you ever wanted to be more persuasive, convincing, or if nothing else, understand how others try to influence you? …Of course! Who hasn’t?
Understanding how storytelling works in persuasion, influence, and change, and the research/neuroscience that informs it all is critical if anyone is going to work with stories effectively.
And hooray -- Gregory Ciotti has put together his list of favorite books that help us understand persuasion, influence, change, and stories more deeply. We'll all become more articulate and better at our craft -- whether you are a consultant, storyteller, entrepreneur or CEO.
Some of these I've read, some I haven't -- so I can't wait to dig into this list myself.
I hope we all learn lots and gain lots of useable insights for our work. Enjoy!
Why is storytelling important? We tell you all you need to know about it: the why, the how, even the science behind it. How have stories evolved over the years, how they help create shared purpose, and how telling a great story can help your brand grab attention.
Any research project that comes up with a conclusion compacted into a couple of words all beginning with the same initial letter, instantly provokes in me the ‘oh, marketing’ response. If the people at Latitude are actually trying to figure out what audiences want, here is an addition to what they have found – ingenuity. At this point in history, one might even want to spell it – iNgenuity – so it looks really authentic and reliable…
It seems everywhere you look established brands are in the midst of radical and ambitious re-inventions.
Beyond just new logos and taglines, brands are struggling to maintain relevance in the eyes of more sophisticated and savvy consumers. Brands often need to re-address the value proposition and create a more responsive and meaningful customer experience. Regardless of circumstances, a brand always has a story – a past, present, and future where its coming from and where its going. The key is to keep that story fresh without confusing or alienating your core audience. Our job as leaders and marketers is to tell a story that people can identify with, and locate themselves into.
It may be helpful to walk you through a few examples and teach you about four basic genres of brand re-invention that may guide the path forward.
We live in a culture saturated with stories. From commercials lasting a few seconds, to TV shows lasting a few seasons, we are inundated with more tales every day than any other generation in history.
We can’t seem to get enough stories. We can’t seem to tell enough.
And brands are no exception.
Many brands want to have their stories told. Yet ironically, they (and their marketing teams) often aren’t quite sure what a story is. Marketing wisdom may extol the virtues of storytelling as a technique for engaging audience emotion, but much less is said about what elements make up a story. Or even more crucial, how marketers can use those elements to craft a compelling brand story.
When MIDAZ* was first introduced, composers were heralding it as the next best thing since the piano. Sales had surpassed all expectations. MIDAZ,* was introduced via a commercial that ran during the Grammy Awards.
Strong storytelling can take a product from selling $100 million worth of units to $1 billion worth, according to Gary Vaynerchuk.
Many entrepreneurs understand the importance of storytelling, yet few do it well. Amidst the ton of advice from marketing mavens, we’ve rarely gone straight to the source: Who better to learn from than a veteran who makes his living storytelling?
For any family business facing a transition from its founders to the next generation, several fundamental questions must be addressed: What are the assumptions behind the company’s culture and values? Are these assumptions helpful or harmful to succession? Do the culture and values lead to artifacts that serve as physical evidence of the company’s mission?
An October 2012 survey by Edelman Berland and Adobe found that American consumers are looking for deeper brand engagement than banner ads and social media “like” buttons. 73% of the 1000 adults surveyed agreed with the statement, “Advertisements should tell a unique story, not just try to sell.”
Marketers are probably shaking their heads back and forth right now, thinking, “But we have been telling you stories all along!” Perhaps, but the beauty of story is in the eye of the beholder. Clearly, many customers are not feeling engaged and immersed in the brand stories they’re currently hearing. They’re hungry to connect with other users and share their experiences, whether positive or negative. Confident brands that can get comfortable with this loss of control are likely to move ahead, I believe.
"Arguably, creative briefs are necessary. They outline the creative assignment. But it is hard to get emotionally engaged with what amounts to a check list of facts. Creative teams should have something more at their disposal to do their best work."
Some had commented that the infographic that was posted on my Scoop.it page was hard to read. Apologies. This is now downloadable at http://bit.ly/PAveas
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...
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 products are introduced. This provides a foundation on which the brand is built with each new development. It also helps to define thebrand’s culture in order to help employees discern the difference between programs and products that fit vs. those that don’t.
Whether yours is a big national or small local brand, and to the extent that you have a clear definition of your brand character, customers, prospects and employees will relate better to what you’re all about.
Shown in this infographic are twelve character types. Use this chart as a starting point to define what your brand stands for. It’s always best to find a single characterization that defines your brand, but oftentimes a blending of two or possibly three character types is needed. At the very least, this chart is meant to stimulate your thinking. Don’t be afraid to invent your own character type, just make sure your state the necessary details that clearly set you apart from your competitors. Above all, it is important to demonstrate this characterization constantly across everything you do.
We are creatures of evolution. Humans have shared beloved stories since the dawn of our existence. The ancient tradition of storytelling serves to remind us of who we are, and how we relate to each other within the structures of our organizations, our village, our culture and our world at large. Brands are no different.
At the core of every great brand you’ll find a mythological narrative that transcends “marketing” activities. Within the DNA of highly valued brands lies a storyline that inspires the actions, beliefs and behaviors of its devoted tribe members over the long term.
Brand storytelling is about the art of connecting the hearts and minds of internal stakeholders and customers alike to shared values and ideals that define the “sacred truth” of why the brand exists and who benefits from its existence. Sacred brand stories are not veneer slapped onto the next ad campaign. Compelling brand stories serve to reveal and remind all audiences of something sacred and valued about themselves rather than the ubiquitous marketing of new product offerings, features or additives.
The #1 trait of a persuasive story is how “engaging” the story is.
There are a million writing blogs that will go on and on about how to craft amazing stories, but is any of that (potentially good) advice backed up by research? In fact, there is an additional study conducted by Green & Brock that addresses just what makes a story engaging. Here’s what they found:
Wow!! My entire review just disappeared! Well -- go read this great article anyway :)
Here is what to pay attention to: all the solid tips -- based on research -- on how to create better stories. They are great. Particularly modeling, irony, imagery, and going beyond the digital campfire. There's lots more to this article that what I have mentioned here.
So go read it. In the meantime, I'll chat with the Internet Powers That Be to hunt for the original review I wrote in whatever black hole it has found itself in! Ay yi yi ....
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