Storytelling is one of the main components of content marketing approach. Association of products and services with real life and soulful stories, nurtures interest in the target audience.
The Aims of Storytelling in Corporate Communication
Storytelling isn’t a single purpose tool. It takes on many forms and serves to achieve various goals.
- To explain company’s purpose
- As a leadership tool
- To define the brand
- For advertisement
Different stakeholders, different story
Storytelling is about sending the right message to the right audience. There’s no option of creating one universal story that will leave the same, if any, impact of numerous different groups of people.
If we think of storytelling, the first pop up coming to our mind is advertisement. But the main target of storytelling doesn’t have to be always the customer.
Storytelling can be used to define the brand, for example to attract investors, promote innovation or simply to explain what your company does in an entertaining way.
It can also serve as a tool of internal communication of company’s goals, then storytelling becomes a powerful HR tool. An attractive story is going to catch attention of the right people of qualities more likely than a dry web “we are hiring” post.
An Effective Storytelling
Cognitive psychology describes how the human mind assembles small pieces of experience into a story in its attempt to understand and remember. Memorable story should begin with a personal desire, a life objective, and then portraying the struggle against the forces that block the desire. Stories are much easier remember as we tend to forget simple lists and bullet points. (Fryer 2003, HBR.)
An effective story is surprising. It makes us think and feel, and helps to remember the center idea and concepts. (Snow 2014, HubSpot.)
However, remember to keep it real.
Creating an Effective Storytelling
The Story Creation Process
(Source: The Business Of Story, 2014.)
The backstory helps you to identify you primary strength (or advantage) at the market place – why you are better than anyone else.
The hero of the story is your target audience. When creating the hero persona you need to clarify what he cares about the most, what problem he’s trying to solve, and use this information in the third step – the stakes (the promise of fulfilment of one’s expectations).
Disruption is to explain what has changed or needs to be changed in your hero’s life. Without changes there is nor market opportunity, nor a story. And antagonists define the obstacles, external as well as internal, the hero must overcome on his journey with your help. YOU are the mentor, with unique position and personality.
The hero’s journey describes the interaction between him and your brand, the successes and failures. In your story you should clearly show how the journey will lead to victory, how customers will realize it and how you will celebrate with them.
Memoral is the piece that makes customers see the connection of their and your values, the reason why the story will be remembered.
The whole process should lead to creation of so strong customer engagement that will turn into a ritual of using your product or service.
(The Business Of Story, 2014.)
The Impacts of Storytelling,
Story of Success & Failure
The Lego Movie – “Storytelling done right”
Lego clearly has the big picture of its brand in mind. While challenging people at any age to create, build and imagine, Lego isn’t just selling stuff but possibilities.
So why is the Lego Movie such a success?
- It’s actually pretty good movie for both kids and adults.
- The movie is entirely made of the product.
- There are strong and well communicated messages through the whole movie – there’s a “builder” in every one of us, we are only limited by the borders of our imagination, you’re never too old to create.
Mattel has been consumer entrusted brand for decades. Although it should be easy for the company to come up with entertaining story-based way to describe its brand, or products they fails to do so. Instead, Mattel repeats year by year the same tale of quality, consumer trust and long market history. Some people start to think it’s about time to show they could do better.
Barbour, M. July 2016. The 11 Best Corporate Storytelling Examples Of All Time. Oz Content. http://ozcontent.com/blog/best-corporate-storytelling-examples/
CMA. Storytelling And Its Power to Engage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dAPXk1C5lU
Coleman, J. November 2015. Use Storytelling to Explain Your Company’s Purpose. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2015/11/use-storytelling-to-explain-your-companys-purpose
Fryer, B. June 2003. Storytelling That Moves People. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2003/06/storytelling-that-moves-people
Gunelius, S. February 2013. 5 Secrets to Use Storytelling Brand Marketing Success. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/02/05/5-secrets-to-using-storytelling-for-brand-marketing-success/#6f89ecda3dd9
Ideas Collide. 3 Brands That Haven’t Mastered Storytelling. http://www.ideascollide.com/2014/04/3-brands-that-havent-mastered-storytelling/
i-Scoop. Using Storytelling to Strengthen Your Brand. http://www.i-scoop.eu/using-storytelling-strengthen-brand/
Olenski, S. November 2015. 4 Benefits Of Using Storytelling In Marketing. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2015/11/30/4-benefits-of-using-storytelling-in-marketing/#35a2ca4276ac
ScaleFunder. The Story Within: 3 Tips for an Effective Crowdfunding Narrative. http://www.scalefunder.com/tag/storytelling/
Snow, S. February 2014. Why Storytelling Will Be the Biggest Business Skill of the Next 5 Years. HubSpot. https://blog.hubspot.com/opinion/why-storytelling-will-be-the-biggest-business-skill-of-the-next-5-years
The Business Of Story. August 2014. The Story Cycle: A simple 10-step storytelling process to create abundance in your professional services firm. http://businessofstory.com/the-story-cycle-a-simple-10-step-storytelling-process-to-create-abundance-in-your-business/
The Sales Lion. The Best Example of Brand Storytelling Ever: The Lego Movie. https://www.thesaleslion.com/brand-storytelling-example-lego-movie/
Warner Bros Pictures. 2013. The Lego Movie – Official Main Trailer. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZ_JOBCLF-I