When you hear the word “story”, what do you think of? Is it “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” because it was your favourite? Or something more classic like “The Great Gatsby” or “Taming of the Shrew”. Either way, you have a base notion on what a story is and what it should be. It’s so embedded in your brain that I don’t have to say anything more than the word “story” and you’ve already thought of one.
So why do these specific stories enter your mind? Maybe it’s one you remember from high school or one your mother read to you. No matter the way you remember it, it means something to you — and at the middle of any story should be meaning.
Why is it children are still taught Shakespeare in school? Why do we all know of the “Three Little Pigs” when half of the world’s most popular stories were written hundreds of years ago in a dialect we no longer practice? The answer lies in the fact that stories (good ones at least) have an incredible generational impact. When a story is well written it has far-reaching power.
Every day that your business puts out content, sells products or solves problems it’s telling a story. It’s your job to shape what is said. Every individual company has a story, it doesn’t matter if you sell beds or manage AdWords— your company has a story to be told.
You may have read this and said to yourself, “Ben, I work for an accounting firm, and there’s not much I can do to make that interesting”. Every company can tell a compelling story, regardless of how ‘bland’ their product or service may seem.
Have a look at this LG commercial for its line of washing machines. I know that isn’t the most appealing sounding commercial (especially if you’re not in the market for a new washing machine), just trust me.
Watched it? That was a simple piece of storytelling with a sale in mind. LG wanted to show off how stable their machine was, and they found an ingenious way to do it. Does a deck of cards have anything to do with the washing machine’s primary function? No, but it sure made LG stand out, and would be in your mind come your trip to Harvey Norman.
Have a look at this from Pepsi.
Now, what did that have to do with Pepsi? The answer is nothing really. There wasn’t even a mention of Pepsi in it, and the first logo we saw was right at the end. However, it’s got almost 16 million views. That translates to more brand recognition which translates to sales.
Videos are a great way to tell a story, but infographics can work the same and at a fraction of the cost. Have a look at these:
Those are all visually appealing and make the information they’re trying to share easily digestible. All of these factors make them another way to tell a compelling story.
When you break it down, you don’t have to be the centre of a story for it to be great, you just need to tell a good story that reflects positively on you as a company.
So ask yourself, what story are you telling?.