Tell me a great story
The movers and shakers of the media world have adopted story telling as a buzz word as new technologies and transmedia platforms have given the timeless tradition a new twist. Story telling is not a new principle, as humans we have been telling stories since the beginning of time. Stories have been told across cultures for centuries as entertainment, education and as a mean to pass on moral value and social principals.
But as everyone knows, its not just the story you tell that counts; its the way you tell them. Lets use the story of Apple as an example. Which of these stories would you want to pass on at bed time?
Apple is a business that sells slabs of metal that you swipe your fingers across, put next to your ear, plug headphones into and keep you entertained.
Apple is an innovative company, it challenges the status quo. It is for the misfits, the rebels, the pioneers. It aims to change things, to push the human race and they provide the tools for you to do that too.
Successful brands tell great stories; imaginative stories can help brands get messages across, to be remembered and to inspire action. So keep it simple, remember to ask yourself ‘does your brand idea pass the bed time story test?’ If a brand has a good story to tell, people will listen.
People love a good story, so much so, stories make irrational behaviour, rational. Take budget airlines as an example, you never hear in the pub, “I’m going to Prague this weekend for my brothers stag do, I got the flights for the price advertised, it was simple and there were no added costs, what a pleasant experience it was to book online”. Rather you hear, “I got flights to Prague for £19.99 return!”
“That’s nothing mate, last year I went for 1p”. This story of one-upmanship fails to leave out the hidden costs behind using a credit card on a site that only accepts credit cards and the cost for reserving a seat. The hideous experience, being herded like cattle into a bright yellow tube, to be squished in a seat next to a man resembling the Michelin man because he refused to pay for luggage, so proceeds to wear all his clothes. To be greeted by an exchanging a knowing smile, because he too had beaten the system but compromising to look like a complete utter wolly for the entire duration of a flight. This story helps us to understand and even justify irrational behaviour.
So what is the moral of the story? Stories help us understand, justify and reason with the world around us and the irrational people that make it up. Would you want to listen to what your brands has to stay? Fill the world with interesting stories and people will listen.