Storytelling For Marketers

05/22/2004

Lets spin the concept of the Friday Fun blog about storytelling into a marketing strategy.

Divas have long known their own stories can deepen the connection with audiences. They intuitively understand that fans want more than a two-hour performance. Fans want emotional involvement. (No, we're not talking Jody Foster stalking.) Stories are a way to help continue the feeling that you know your favorite performer even after she takes off her make-up.

What does all this have to do with you and your brand? Storytelling and marketing share a common goal - to create a communication that is interesting and encourages a specific reaction.

Stories are more compelling than just information, data or facts. Dahling, the best stories live in your imagination long after the telling. And isn't that what good marketing is all about...capturing attention and recalling the message?

In the book The Dream Society, Rolf Jensen, Director of the Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies, describes how customers will engage in services/products that satisfy their need to feel and display emotion. He predicts that stories will provide a unique competitive advantage since they capture the heart, not just the mind. http://www.dreamcompany.dk/en/

A Story Or Two
Mary Kay, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, doesn't just sell lipsticks and blush. Her story is about a woman who successfully infiltrated the "good ole boys' club" and, in turn, opened the door for thousands of women. What a great story to build a company on! http://www.marykay.com/

"Our Company was begun with only one objective ... that of giving women the chance to succeed, an opportunity that simply did not exist in the early 60's. I just couldn't believe that a woman's brain was worth fifty cents on the dollar. With all my heart, I wanted to change that." Mary Kay

And the beats goes on! Now take a look at a woman who's been called the "most dynamic female soul singer in the history of music." What a story Tina Turner has to tell ... from a stormy marriage to a career that challenges a Dow Jones stock graph. Knowing this rock Diva's story deepens our appreciation of her talents. Sister, if Tina can persevere, you and I can too!

Structure
Stories and marketing communications are structured differently. Unlike most collateral material or ads stories have a beginning...a middle...an ending. Think heroine ...plot...wrap-up.

Beginning
Stories
Introduce the heroine

Marketing Stories
Introduce your company, brand, staff, customer, or product/service

Middle
Stories
Describe the plot/adventure

Marketing Stories
Describe the problem/challenge/situation

Ending
Stories
Show how the heroine has changed

Marketing Stories
Show solutions and their impact

Storylines
Business stories are a step beyond testimonials. They're frequently about real people doing real work involved with real challenges. However, the goal is still to engage your audience with a compelling tale. Use words, graphics, video and/or music to tell your stories about:

- The uniqueness of your product/services
- Your corporate history
- Customer experiences

Nike built a captivating campaign based on stories about young women who dreamed of being athletes. What stories can you leverage about your customers' challenges that relate to your product or service?

How to Use Stories

Include your stories in media releases, corporate communications, annual reports, newsletters and don't forget your website and blog.

Box Office Benefits
- Humanizes your business and the people who work behind the scenes
- Is remembered because it entertains
- Breaks through the clutter
- Enhances the value of the brand
- Increases ROI by conveying messages that are easily understood and memorable

Storytelling captures the heart evoking an emotional connection. The best marketing stories will end happily ever after with increased profits, customer loyalty and brand awareness. We all have a story to tell. What's yours?

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Comments

Wut up dou?!! I really found alot of infromation I knew nothing about. It helped me out in so many ways. Thanx and God Bless!

Posted by: ~*~KeKe~*~ on Oct 13, 2005 2:25:42 PM

Hello Divas!
I am so glad that I found this site! I am establishing a part-time business as a skin care/beauty consultant and marketing tips and trends are just what I need. I work fulltime as a nurse researcher and my plan is to establish a stable parttime business that gives me flexibility, allows me to be creative, have fun and supplements my retirement income. I am looking for tips on how to direct traffic to my site. Thank you
Kim

Posted by: Kim Lacy on Mar 29, 2007 11:22:35 AM

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