Storydoing is an innovative way to promote the core values of your company. But let's start from the beginning: what is storytelling again? And how do you integrate storydoing into the bigger picture?
Fairy tales and stories. As a child we loved it. When I was a little girl myself, my mom read me a story every night. I nestled under the covers, grabbed my teddy and drifted off.
But when mom told me about Scar from The Lion King, who dropped his brother Mufasa off a cliff, I had trouble sleeping. I was left with a lot of sleepless nights from this bedtime story.
Recognizable, you say? That's right, because this short story illustrates how emotionally involved we feel in a story. Anger, joy, indignation ... When you read a story, you step into a rollercoaster of emotions. And that is the power of storytelling. Moreover, stories take you in tow and they pull you out of your daily context.
Storytelling: putting the values of your company in a story ...
... in order to make clear to your customers what your company stands for. It creates an emotional connection with your customer so that he will remember your brand story better and more accurately. As a company you tell a personal story in which you make your norms and values clear. Moreover, it is the ideal way to show the human face behind the company. Important: keep it authentic. You fill your story with marketing messages? Your customer will sense that from miles away.
What storytelling is really about
You can use storytelling in presentations to immediately get your target audience involved, in a blog article, in a behind-the-scenes story, on social media ... But you can also do storytelling visually, on Instagram or in a plog.
Whichever form you choose: always keep the right focus in mind. Your customer is not just waiting for every story.
Good storytelling is like … a bedtime story.
1. Name your hero and your enemy.
Long ago, in Pride Lands, the lion king Mufasa and the lion queen Sarabi welcomed their son Simba. He’ll end up on the throne, much to the dislike of Scar, the brother of king Mufasa.
Name your enemy and your hero. Give them both a real personality, so you can set them apart from the other.
2. Define the problem.
Mufasa is dead.
3. Not that problem. The real problem for your customers.
Mufasa is dead and Simba is too young to be king of the jungle. So that leaves us with the villain Scar who will lead the kingdom into fear and decay. Which will ultimately lead to the loss of Pride Lands. So: we need a new king.
Every story needs a problem to solve. What's your audience's problem you need to address ... not your company's?
4. Name the incident.
Nala and Simba fall in love, and she urges him to return home, telling him that Pride Lands have become a wasteland under Scar's reign. Realizing that he can no longer run from his past, Simba decides to return to the Pride Lands.
What's the incident that brings the problem to the forefront? Why is your brand and your story relevant for those who need of a solution for their problem?
5. Look at the product solution in a broader perspective.
In The Lion King, Simba grows into a young lion who watches the loss of his father’s kingdom. Aided by his friends, Simba takes over the kingship from his uncle Scar. He not only saves his own life, but he makes a better life for all the animals in Pride Lands.
6. Draw in and connect to peers.
Timon is a meerkat. He is a bit lazy and always pretends to know better than the others. Pumbaa is a warthog that always believes everything everyone says. Rafiki is an old baboon who serves as shaman. All of those creatures together are a powerful metaphor for tribe of like-minded people. In the story, Simba becomes their leader, and he serves both himself AND a bigger community of animals in Pride Lands.
What's the brand story you can tell that lifts up your community and has a broader appeal?
7. Show the solution.
Simba saves his friends. He saves Pride Lands. And he and Nala get married. Ahhh, the Circle of Life.
We want Simba to become king. That’s why we want to see his love for Nala. And the new cub, ofcourse.
8. Make it a never-ending story.
The Circle of Life is not only the theme song of the movie. It’s also the main theme of the movie. Smart, because with the new cub at the end, you’ve instantly got the sequel ready.
Your story never ends, it evolves. Keeping adding chapters.
(Hat tip to Roy Peter Clark for the inspiration.)
Storydoing: when the brand story comes to life
Storytelling provides a personal and emotional connection between the customer and your company. This connection translates into loyalty. Where storytelling tells us a story, it is time for action with storydoing.
Stories come to life with short and long-term action. And that is much needed today: customers are becoming a whole lot more critical and they no longer just nod to every story. Is what this company says authentic, or is it a sales pitch? By translating words into actions, you can show how your company translates brand values into practice.
From CEO to employee: everyone participates
A clear and unique story is very important. And that story must be extended throughout the company. Everything starts of course with a story as the first building block on which the other blocks are placed. This story must be grand and all employees must make an effort to bring this story to life. From HR to CEO: everyone participates. Moreover, it is important to organize regular promotions to reinforce this brand story.
An iconic example of storydoing
Red Bull wants - more than ever - to connect with everything that has to do with extreme sports. They support mountain bike events, BMX races, motocross… And as icing on the cake: Stratos, the highest leap ever made by people in space.
Their story is not limited to telling their core values, they take action to reinforce this story even more. Because if you think about extreme sports today, you automatically think of Red Bull.
And what is the role of the customers?
Well, they will consciously or unconsciously promote the big brand story. Moreover, it gives them motivation and inspiration. They believe even more in the brand and experience a deeper connection. Social media is very important in this. Just think of influencers or reviewers. Each building block contributes the story of your brand.
Need some help?
Do you want to integrate storytelling into your marketing strategy? Need help writing the big brand story of your company?
We are here for you.
Written by Laura Van Roey, Copywriter
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Filed under INSPIRATION