Our brains are complex, powerful things and they need stories to feed off. It’s a natural, primal urge. If I was to present you with a large block of complex text without some sort of story, only a certain part of your brain will tune in. That’s the part that translates words into meaning. But that’s it. And the end result is that you’d switch off… and do something else.
Stories have a different effect.
Inspiring stories make you react. It’s a proven fact. With stories, other areas of your brain get switched on, such as the areas that control desire, morality and emotion.
In terms of the message that needs to be communicated, to do corporate storytelling well – a message must meet 6 criteria:
It should go without saying, but there must an underlying need for the product or service that you’re ultimately offering [through your story].
Corporate storytelling has to be interesting. There’s no two ways about it. And to be precise, it has to be interesting to the right people – your target audience. So your message must offer the potential for drama.
As with most things in business, a customer must trust the business behind the message, or the whole thing is doomed to fail from the very beginning.
Your target audience must be able to relate to the message in order for it to evoke the emotions needed to clinch a sale. With storytelling, it’s their story, not yours. So is the crux of your message actually identifiable?
A corporate story must be simple in nature. You can’t risk loss of meaning. As such, stick to an easy message to convey.
You can create the best brand narrative in the world, but if it’s out of kilter with the rest of your image, it won’t work well.