Posts Tagged ‘characters’

☞ Whatever brand storytelling is, it is clear that it is more than just a minimalist approach to storytelling, where narratives are merely defined in terms of a stringing of events. The more traditional conception of narrative, with interesting plots, characters and even heroes, is at work here. The approach in brand storytelling is also qualitative, where value judgments are passed on what makes a good or effective narrative: not every story would do the job. This article looks at the hero. One difference from the traditional hero however, is that the hero of a brand story may not necessarily be anthropomorphic, but could very well be the brand itself. Thematically, the brand story should also involve a big idea which promises to improve the lot of everyone who makes use of the brand.

“At the center of every brand story is a hero. The hero could be an idea, a person, or a thing– to be effective at brand storytelling, it’s critical to know what attributes define the inner character of the hero. The hero, of course, is the brand itself. Like any good story that teaches and informs us about a higher ideal, brand storytelling is about the higher purpose of why the hero exists and why we should care.

The notion of brand storytelling is one that is growing in popularity among marketers these days. Yet so much “storytelling” continues to be nothing more than outbound messaging and selling. That’s no surprise because it’s the job of every marketer to message and sell. If you’re not selling something, then you’re not marketing right?

For this reason it’s in the marketer’s self interest to “message” out directly, rather than engage people in the ideas and lessons they care about.

Improving our condition

Every enduring story is based on a transcendent idea bigger than the story itself. The elements of any story – characters, plot, and environment – can clarify, focus, and influence the idea’s expression, but it’s always the big idea that drives the brand story.

The hero of the story is the character who possesses the big idea. And the heart of that idea “teaches us to improve our condition”.  And it’s our “condition” we care most about! Creating value is about improving the condition of people’s lives.  From the dawn of language, stories have taught humans how to improve the conditions of life.

To break through the clutter of messaging bombarding the mind, every brand must represent a single idea that improves the condition of the customer. Our hero the brand has committed to embarking on that journey. Through the hero’s example we are more in touch with what makes us all the better for it.”

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