2: Spread the word
If I tell you the estimate of the number of slaves today range from around 21 million to 46 million, you’d probably stand still and be astonished for about 5 seconds, and then move on to the next thing.
However, let me tell you the story of Benita, a young 13 year old orphan. Whose tall for her age with freckles, big brown eyes and curly hair. Benita is one of the 46 million slaves that live in our world today. She lost her parents at a young age, and ended up having to work 12 hours a day for $2.43 / hour. She can’t afford staying home when she’s sick, hell, she cant even afford to try one of the shoes she sews everyday.
How much more likely are you to remember Benita’s story? If I then tell you you can help Benita by buying one of our sneakers, there is a big chance you would be compelled to do so. Not because you urgently need a flashy new pair of shoes, but because you can see a smile appear on Benita’s face while making the purchase. You won’t persuade people to take action by throwing around some cold facts and figures, they simply don’t stick! Use a story however, and people find common ground, they become emotionally involved. Research shows that messages with moral and emotional words are more likely to spread online. As it turns out, with each moral or emotional word the probability of it being reposted increased by an impressive 20%.
3: Make it personal
This is probably where the idea of solutions before product was born. Content has become such an overwhelming commodity that it only takes a blink of an eye to answer the question ‘why should I care?’. Now, almost all ads focus on providing solutions, community building and brand awareness, so what sets you apart from the rest? A good authentic story does. A great narrative literally connects us, when I tell you a compelling story our brainwaves will match up. We buy what we’re emotionally drawn to and then logically justify it later. The use of language, settings and characteristics that we can resonate with, that bring reassurance and helps us visualise our future. You start with what we know, blend in some vivid details, common experience, and your unique twist. The twist, that’s where context comes into play. Context shows you’ve been paying attention, it is context that will make sure your common spirit and values will be remembered and it is context that makes you authentic. Most of our decisions aren’t made rationally, it’s our emotions that have the power to change opinions overnight. We stopped purchasing goods and started buying emotions. So without a compelling story, your product, idea or brand is dead on arrival.
4: Expand your toolkit
We now have more ways of sharing our ideas and experiences than ever before. Technology has opened a door to a whole new level of storytelling. A great example is packaging. For a long time packaging was more regarded a necessity than a storytelling tool. But then some smart brains realized that every detail of the packaging tells a story, so why not make sure it’s the one they want told. Suddenly supermarket shelves became a piece of art, with innovative materials, unique cut outs and lots of color. Technology took it a step further and the brand story become more dynamic. Personalized packaging, hashtags, QR codes, augmented reality they were all created to take storytelling to the next level. In a way, brands turned all of us into storywritters, allowing us to personalize and change small details. But how do you tactfully use all this knowledge of someone’s habits without letting them know you’re studying their lives?