Monday, June 1, 2009

Once Upon a Time: Storytelling Magic, Part 1

The arc of every lifetime is one big story made up of many little ones. That’s why the first form of creative communication was storytelling. Storytelling is so important that there’s evidence of it in virtually every known culture and subculture throughout human existence. It was, in fact, the most important way to transmit knowledge and wisdom in the millennia before the invention of writing.

Since ancient times, storytelling has been considered an almost magical form of entertainment and education, teaching many of life’s most important lessons. Its simple, straightforward techniques put to shame most of the “sophisticated” tricks of the trade currently being used in much of what passes for advertising and marcom.

We’re all familiar and comfortable with storytelling, so it’s puzzling why more marketers aren’t using its techniques to promote their brands. After all, every product and service has an important and compelling story to tell, and that story is, in fact, what every successful brand is all about.

If you’d like to try promotional storytelling, keep in mind that you must be vividly creative and crystal clear, as well as concise and persuasive at a gut level that genuinely resonates with people. Storytelling can be particularly effective with Baby Boomers, because they’ve reached a developmental level where they process information more carefully than those who constantly Twitter about. That makes them more thoughtful and open to a persuasive story that has real depth. In fact, with Boomers, nothing works quite as well as storytelling when it comes to holding their attention and motivating them.

Boomers love a good story, which is reason enough for you to search for and crystallize the big idea in your product or service, so you can dramatize its features and benefits in a compelling tale.

Testimonials are the most obvious form of promotional storytelling, but there’s so much more you can do. You can begin by considering your brand to be a character that’s intrinsic to the human drama. Think of it as a living, breathing entity that has a life of its own and a backstory that’s fascinating and engaging. Explain how the brand got to be what it is today, how it makes the present moment more fulfilling, and how it promises to help build a better tomorrow.

Your brand has a interesting, important story to tell, so share it with Boomers by showing them how its life intersects with their own. Create a physical, emotional and spiritual bond between your brand and the Boomers by using a little storytelling magic, and you’ll be well on your way to the Boomer Buying Center.

1 comment:

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