There is much written and talked about in our industry today about the power of storytelling. Stories are something that people can relate to. In fact, a story may be the most powerful hook we have as media professionals. Stories inspire, persuade, and elicit action.
When I looked for the definition of a story, I found many. One simple definition that I initially focused on was that a story has three critical elements: a character in pursuit of a goal in the face of a challenge. Those seem like fairly simple guidelines to follow when crafting a story, but as I thought more about it, it seemed more applicable to a personal story. In the media world, we tell the story of a brand.
My first inclination was to toss out the definition I had chosen. It didn’t seem to fit the challenge. Then, I was reminded about a TED Talk by Simon Sinek, who lectures on leadership. His message is that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” This seems to fit in the marketing and media world and serves as a powerful guideline to those of us promoting brands. Defining the “why” of a brand goes to the heart of it, and that’s when the emotional hook comes in to play. Brands need to be able to communicate what really matters to them, and why people should pay attention. That’s what will be memorable, and that’s what people will relate to!