In an article shared last month on the Harvard Business Review, Christel Quek stressed the importance of story telling. She asked the question: “How is it possible for brands to break through the clutter of today’s fragmented, multi screened, even multi dimensional media landscape?”
It’s simple, they tell a good story.
They forge connections with consumers as a way to inspire action. Before there was mass media – before radio, TV, movies, and books — people told stories. And those stories lived on and were passed on through generations, constantly evolving, but still always inspiring. As a father, I share stories with my son to teach him lessons that resonate.
Most of the stories now feature a young boy, his age, who was once afraid to sleep in his bed, but soon learned there was nothing to fear. That’s the shortened version, obviously, but you can surmise the message I’m trying to send my free-spirited four-year-old.
The point is, the best stories are the ones that captivate and motivate their audience. When your audience is your four-year-old, you want them to sleep in their bed. When you’re motivating consumers, you want them to buy your product.
As Quek notes:
The best stories are designed to get the audience to care. Stories that start with “why” — they articulate the organization’s purpose and passion — and are able to get more consumers tuning in to the brand and what it stands for.
The best stories empower and motivate audiences. But it’s not enough just to tell a good story. Today’s connected consumer embraces a two-way dialogue. Brands that actively listen to social networks and respond with real-time content have exploded in popularity.
The best stories embody purpose and relevance. But what is a good story without purpose? The best stories have a key message — a driving force that underpins the “why” and builds the connection of why the audience should care. Purpose is about relevance. Relevance is about creating meaning out of the influx of experiences with the audience by listening to them.
At CBS, we tell stories everyday. Our radio stations and DJs, our news programs, and our sitcoms.
Our job at the Altitude Group is to identify a story within a brand, connect that story to our audiences through our content and distribution assets, and let the story unfold in a contextually relevant way. Quek’s article concludes by noting that a story teller is, at heart, a meaning maker. And this is what we do — bring an unbridled passion to find meaning in every brand’s story.