Daniel Pink, in his book A Whole New Mind, makes a quite bold claim that: “the era of the dominance of scientific minds is over. The future belongs to a different kind of people with a different kind of mind: designers, inventors, teachers, storytellers, in other words, creative and empathy-filled right-hemispheric thinkers.”
This seems complicated to accept for managers or businessmen, whose world is all about data, logic, and measurable results. And yet, analyzing the development of countries over the past few years, we note the increasing contribution to GDP creation of the so-called creative sectors, in which the production of goods and services is based on the creative work of individuals.
This makes it worthwhile to think about new concepts of doing business that would once have been coolly dismissed. One of them is precisely the use of storytelling to build a company’s image (keeping in mind, of course, the principles of strategic branding, e.g. ensuring a consistent brand image so that the company’s image goes straight to the hearts of the target audience).
According to Seltzer and Bentley in The Creative Age, in our era – of rapid transformations – the resources that determine progress and development become knowledge and creativity. This includes the ability to generate and apply knowledge in many different contexts to solve specific problems in new ways. One of these contexts is building a positive brand image.
Whereas among the key competencies of the creative class is storytelling, i.e. the ability to create and develop an engaging narrative (story). Thus, we can take care of our image and with various tools – such as PR – build a positive image of our brand; take care of customer relations, or lay a solid strategic foundation before designing a website.
To put it short, the idea is to communicate in such a way as to increase the visibility of our company while building our brand image. This course of action will also help strengthen your position in the market. The strategic communication process should happen even before the marketing plan, applied to social media, e.g., so that, as I always say, everything is c o n s i s t e n t. We need to know what to say and why we should constantly say it, after all, this is what marketing is based on, and not – as many mistakenly believe – on saying something different every time.
We can describe storytelling, in the words of David Boje, as “an oral or written [and, in my opinion, visual – author’s note] message that engages people to interpret a past or accumulated experience.” In turn, the very concept of passing on a story has existed as long as humans have, and we can see its various forms in myths, legends, and religions around the world.
Let me use the words of Robert McKee and Arch Woodside:
A story not only allows one to convey a lot of information but evokes emotions and energizes the listener. Persuasion through stories is difficult. Any intelligent person can prepare a list of rational arguments. To prepare an argument based on conventional rhetoric requires logic, but also little creativity. However, to present an idea in such a powerful way that it will be remembered for a long time – it takes special abilities.
The effectiveness of storytelling in various aspects of human life prompts the search for opportunities to use this form of communication in business management, especially in areas related to the communication of company or brand values.
Not surprisingly, the effectiveness of storytelling in various aspects of human life prompts the use of this form of communication in communicating the values of a company or brand. Through its energy and emotion, we can engage potential customers in marketing communications and answer the question of what a brand’s image is on the Internet or billboards.
The overarching message of a story is otherwise known as its moral. It can be defined as some universal truth known to people. It is worth reminding the recipients of it once in a while to uphold certain values.
For example, in the brand campaigns of Mastercard (Priceless), this moral is: some things cannot be bought with money. In the campaigns of The Economist, it is possible to see the moral that it is worthwhile to develop throughout life. On the other hand, in the campaigns of the Dove brand (Real Beauty), it reads: beauty has many faces.
What is your moral? What do you want to say and why is it so important? Who are you? Maybe it’s worth going back to the source and thinking, aren’t we talking to a wall (an audience that exists only in our minds – which doesn’t exist) and burning through the budget?