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How does our brand harness storytelling?


In his book The Storytelling Animal, Jonathan Gottschalk writes:

“The human mind was shaped for story, so that it could be shaped by story. Stories are always about problems being solved. They are about trouble, a tension.”

The audience then gets to learn from the solution in the story.

Why are we so influenced by stories? Somerset Maugham calls it the “sugary jam of storytelling.” With stories, we mix the medicine of the message with sugary jam of the storyline.

Story is powerful. It is the sugary jam to our sugar-loving taste buds, and for good reason - marketers want to harness its power.

Just remember though that story includes medicine as well as jam. A lot of times, marketers get so excited about storytelling that they forget the practical reason for these stories. The reason for stories is to deliver a message that might not otherwise be readily received.

These marketers forget to identify the medicine, the message, that they get to mix in with that fun storytelling. They first need to identify the tension and then present their brand promise as a resolution to that tension.

What is the medicine that you are mixing in? What’s the truth you need your audience to hear as they listen to and enjoy the story? Don’t skip to the dessert! Ensure that you are identifying and incorporating the meaning of your business into the stories that you tell.

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