With the phenomenon of technology and the advancement of the means of communication, we live in an increasingly connected world. A world that generates more and more information and demands from people, and from the market, greater interaction and connectivity.
However, the wave of content and information has made us more selective about what we want to absorb. Good old supply and demand, isn’t it?
Here are some statistics for the more pragmatic:
- 79% of people just “scan the web” instead of reading word for word. Nobody reads!
- Press releases that contain multimedia get 77% more response compared to releases containing only text.
- Blog posts with videos have 3 times more links than posts with text only.
- Professionals spend 51% of their time managing information rather than acting on it.
Believe me, there is still more data to indicate this change in behavior. You can check them out and more on the subject in this excellent storytelling infographic.
Ok, now we have a bigger obstacle to position our brand in the market, given the great offer that exists by competitors and other products. How to differentiate yourself? How to propel an idea, a business, a product?
That’s where storytelling comes in!
Telling a story is the oldest way of transmitting knowledge between generations. Our memory compiles a series of photos that are tied together to form a narrative. Just stop to think and we can remember that the most memorable lectures we keep tell a story, right?
In order to mark the interlocutor and hold their attention, the storytelling technique has been successfully used by companies, both as a form of branding and even as a sales strategy.
Nothing sells products, services, and causes like a true story.
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- How to apply storytelling to the brand?
- Good practices for writing a good story
How to apply storytelling to the brand?
As said before, storytelling aims to create a different connection with the interlocutor. This happens in order to promote different feelings in people. The technique appeals to a more sensitive side, a more artistic side and one that remits emotions.
Therefore, storytelling must use and abuse images, media, and any other apparatus that might catch the prospect’s attention. Just as authors create memorable characters, you should do the same for your company.
To make your brand stand out, think of it as a character. Describe your company as something unique, with purposes and values – which indicate your character’s personality. Make your company as presentable as possible!
Remember, a good story is authentic, creative, creates an emotional and personal connection, inspires action, and communicates directly with the speaker.
Coca-Cola is recognized worldwide for its advertising and branding. We can notice that many of your actions are aimed at telling stories, or conveying the image that your product is a catalyst for stories. Like this?
I had a professor from an entrepreneurship course who always talked about Coca-Cola. He said that the company became a success when it discovered that its main product was not soft drinks.
“Coca sells the feeling of being refreshed with a cold and delicious drink” – said the master. That’s the key to storytelling: Find out why you sell your product and explore it commercially. Can you visualize the relationship between storytelling and Coca-Cola branding now?
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. – Simon Sinek
As a practical example of one of Coca-Cola’s advertising actions, let’s take the “Share a Coke” campaign – the one with the name on the can. It’s a beautiful example of storytelling, as it allows the experience to occur by drawing our attention to the names on the cans.
Seeing our names, or the names of those we like, reflected in the product instantly activates our memory. In addition, the “share a coke” call to action brings another behavioral experience to the consumer, that of buying a soda for a friend, or even keeping the can with the name as a souvenir.
Coca-Cola ends its message by saying that the feeling of sharing is more important than the shared item. Great!
Coca-Cola and storytelling: Have you found your name in the can?
Good practices for writing a good story
As storytelling is an ancient practice, which has been with man since the beginning, there are some patterns and models that help in the development of a good story. These are literary practices that can be followed by anyone who wants to write.
The first specimen script, the best known, is the hero’s journey, also called the monomyth. This concept presents a cyclical sequence of facts that develop empathy, on the part of readers, with the main character (or hero). This model was conceived in 1949, after Joseph Campbell saw this pattern in such famous narratives as Buddah, Christ, and Moses.
However, it is also possible to perceive the monomyth in current contexts such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, The Matrix and many other Hollywood productions.
The hero’s journey follows these steps:
- Ordinary World – The hero’s normal world before the story begins.
- The Call of Adventure – A problem presents itself to the hero: a challenge or the adventure.
- Hero’s Reticence or Refusal of the Call – The hero refuses or is slow to accept the challenge or adventure, usually because he is afraid.
- Mentor Encounter or Supernatural Aid – The hero finds a mentor who makes him accept the call and informs and trains him for his adventure.
- First Gate Crossing – The hero leaves the common world to enter the special or magical world.
- Trials, Allies and Enemies or The Belly of the Whale – The hero faces tests, finds allies and fights enemies, so he learns the rules of the special world.
- Approach – The hero succeeds during trials
- Difficult or traumatic ordeal – The greatest crisis of adventure, life or death.
- Reward – The hero faced death, overcomes his fear and now earns a reward (the elixir).
- The Way Back – The hero must return to the common world.
- Hero’s Resurrection – Another test in which the hero faces death, and must use everything learned.
- Return with Elixir – The hero returns home with the “Elixir” and uses it to help everyone in the common world.
We can see clear examples within this script. Harry Potter lives in an ordinary world and has its call to adventure as Hagrid meets him to show him the wizarding universe.
A similar script also occurs in “The Hobbit”: Bilbo receiving his call to adventure!
The main factor in storytelling is to empathize with the interlocutor, so the hero’s journey process can serve as inspiration for great stories!
Pixar, an American digital animation company owned by The Walt Disney Company, is also a great benchmark for writing stories. They share some of their know-how on this amazing slide!
Storytelling with the best in the subject: Learn with Pixar!
I hope I’ve shown you a little bit of storytelling and the role it can play in influencing your brand. Storytelling is a very rich tool that can be used in a wide range of aspects within a company, from branding formulation, outbound and inbound sales process to some people management policies.
Finally, I’d like to leave with you a TED of talk I watched live that made a big impression on me. Much for the fact that the guy told an amazing story! This lecture is by Rafael Clemente – CEO and founder of Elo Group – and in it, he tells a little about the case of Vandal, e-commerce of printed t-shirts that has a very cool story to be told.