As the media landscape continues to evolve, audiences are gaining more and more control over the information they view and share. To remain relevant, brands need to know how to tell compelling stories to reach them.
The transformation begins by realizing that your brand is nothing more than an ongoing story—a set of meaningful emotional experiences unfolding between itself and your audiences. Just like stories, brands can be inspiring, clear and actionable, or self-important, bland and confusing. The inspiring ones light up social networks, passing virally from storyteller to storyteller. The others instantly disappear.
Here are four simple steps that will help your brand become effective at storytelling
1. Craft your myth
The stories we love most tell us what people like us value, what they don't, and what they want for the future. These core stories are known as myths, and every society uses them to forge a shared identity.
Key ingredients of myths include
- An explanation about how the world works
- Meaning, which helps audiences gain a deeper understanding of who they are
- A story or narrative that underlines the myth's lessons
- A ritual for addressing the lessons in audiences' own lives
2. Know your hero
In the past, when audiences had no choice about the media they consumed, the traditional approach was to cast audiences as the damsel in distress, saved by hero brands with a magic solution. Today, nobody wants to hear a story in which the consumer is the victim and your brand is the hero.
3. Live your story
Telling powerful stories calls for deeper authenticity from brands. While that may not always be easy, when you prove your commitment to a more just and sustainable world, your stories gain more traction. Another advantage is that stories guide us into a deeper sense of our values, transforming our brands as we work to live up to our stories.
4. Practice makes perfect
Storytelling is a group experience, so the creation of the story should be too. Therefore, seek out a learning format that utilizes conversation and two-way dialogue with a diverse group so you can get real-time feedback and opportunities to practice getting the story just right.
Ultimately, storytelling is a mindset shift. With knowledge and practice, you can create and tell your brand's story in a way that's epic, that empowers, and that produces results.