Stories are now such a *thing* even in a B2B context that it’s easy to think that every marketer can and should be a business storyteller. Effective business storytelling though is harder than it looks. If you back yourselves to tell an extraordinary story that the people who buy from you will want to specifically engage with (at the expense of your competitors), there are three things you need to organise.
Leveraging a story that everyone knows is powerful – but risky. Powerful, because it’s immediately recognisable. Risky, because unless you can provide a new spin, it’s a tale they already know. Perhaps too well.
It’s tempting when your brand is trending to believe that the hard work is done. In point of fact, it may just be beginning. And there may be a number of twists and turns that need to be managed and countered if things are to get to a good place. The story of Pokémon Go so far is a fascinating case study.
I first connected with Shawn Callahan on LinkedIn a number of years ago and was immediately drawn to his storytelling style and his theories about what makes business storytelling tick.
I really like Ed Woodcock’s description of what it takes to build a fascinating brand story. Creativity, resonance and purpose are all key attributes of successful brand storytelling strategy, he observes, in a recent piece on top storytelling brands. It’s fascinating to observe how those characteristics are playing out across the economy.
The case for brands to engage in storytelling is well made and well documented. Stories are so much more effective than facts, they engage us and in so doing, they motivate brands and buyers alike to get involved and to act.
You can read the full story here.
Everyone loves a good story, and the critical strength of heritage brands is that they have such stories in abundance. Little wonder then that as American consumer confidence starts to look up, the brands that remind consumers of what they have, where they are and where they’ve come from are doing well. It’s a timely reminder of just how much the story of a brand links to the narrative that buyers run in their own minds of the lives they lead and the lives they would lead if they could.
Stories add to the humanity of brands. They help consumers think through and act upon a narrative that is fundamentally rooted in human truths. Stories generate empathy. We see ourselves in the tale. Or we see a side of ourselves. Or we see the ‘me’ that we would like to be. Without that narrative, everything is dominated by features, data and discounts.