Storytelling has power in marketing and communications but we need to be better at it in today’s noisy consumer space.
The noisy space consumers live in and the multitude of channels make it harder than ever to communicate. The answer, according to a good article in Catalyst magazine, is to use the power of storytelling. What does that mean? It means to communicate key messages in an authentic, engaging and memorable way. And we should do this not just for customers but for all stakeholders, internal and external. Good storytelling builds trust and understanding, motivation and loyalty.
The right kind of storytelling
It can be incredibly powerful if we find the right story to tell at the right time. That often means going back to some basic principles to look again at powerful stories that have stood the test of time. That’s right – children’s classic stories. On my website I suggest there are only 7 types of story and all of them can be applied to brand communications. Here are three of them.
Journey and return where the heroine is changed by the experience. The Wizard of Oz is a good example.
Rebirth where the heroine is in captivity but is able to break free. The Ugly Ducklying is a good example. This transformation from within would work well for internal communications contexts.
Rags to riches where the heroine overcomes obstacles to succeed. Cinderella is a powerful example. This is a great brand story in the right storytelling hands.
Power in action
Authentic stories can bring ideas to life. But storytelling is only powerful if it is relevant to the brand or the key message. The best way to find these authentic stories is to talk to the stakeholders particularly your colleagues. They will have many fascinating anecdotes and stories to tell that you didn’t know existed.
Forbes has some interesting ideas on storytelling in a business context here.