It’s true that storytelling has been a crucial part of human life since man lived in caves.A good story will be passed along from person to person, and with every telling, a new connection is formed. And that’s why storytelling is so important in business. Stories draw people together, create community and build consensus, trust and loyalty.
In business, the purpose of stories isn’t entertainment; each story has a specific goal or a desired outcome. Sometimes it’s a sale, but not usually. Overtly commercial stories aren’t usually compelling enough to capture the attention of people.
The objective might be to spur an idea, identify a need or even to provide valuable information. However, the overarching goal is always to create or strengthen a connection with audience members whether they are customers, suppliers, employees, potential recruits or any important people.
How do you tell a story?
Start by asking, what is the one thing I want the audience to remember about this story? The core message will be the hub of your story.
For a company that sells cleaning products, for example, the message might be that the brand supports modern parents in raising happy, well-adjusted children. It’s a wholesome message that will build trust and loyalty among those who hear it.
The story will need context, or background information, for audiences to understand it. Having the appropriate context will spark people’s interest and make them care about the story.
For our cleaning product company this could include information about where the story is taking place such as in a subStorytellingurban home. It will introduce the main character: the mother of a six-year-old boy. It will also outline our young mother’s goal: to raise a happy well-adjusted son. This context will spark interest among suburban mothers who strive to be successful parents.
A good story needs some action or a conflict. The main character will experience a setback or challenge. Such obstacles create excitement and provide opportunities for audience connection.
In our cleaning product company’s story this obstacle could be a messy, greasy kitchen. How can the young mother have time both to clean the kitchen and spend time with her son?
A story should, ultimately, reveal the main character’s fate which will provide an opportunity to showcase the overarching message.
Here, our young mother discovers and uses cleaning products that reduce the time and effort of housework. She now has the whole afternoon and plenty of energy to kick a ball around with her son. Her son knows he is loved, and he will grow up happy and well-adjusted.
The story successfully creates a strong connection between the brand and a key audience. The message is clear; the cleaning product brand supports modern parents in raising happy, well-adjusted children.
The article was originally published on Thornleyfallis.com