Throughout all of human history, most cultures and societies have revolved around storytelling. Telling stories has been an intricate part of all of our lives. Much of we know about history in BC times comes from oral traditions, passing stories on from generation to generation.
Writings from the past tell us stories about what happened before our time.
Photos and paintings from times of wars, presidential elections and human achievement are an intricate part of storytelling as we know it. In our more modern stage, videos now tell us stories more clearly than any medium before it.
The one key thing about stories is this: the ones that last and get passed down – the stories that survive – are the ones that intrigue us the most. Everyone loves a good story, no matter who you are. Even if it’s something as rudimentary as seeing what kind of trouble the Snooki has gotten herself into now, we all huddle around whichever storytelling medium we prefer (magazine, newspaper, TV, tablet device) and soak it in, passing whatever story we find the most important or most intriguing.
It’s not just the stories that matter but the delivery. Garrison Keillor is one of America’s best storytellers. However, should I try to tell one of his Lake Wobegon stories to one of you, it wouldn’t have near the impact or influence coming from me as it does with him. His delivery of stories has just as much weight on its importance as the raw content.
How does this apply to brands?
In digital marketing, virality has become a key component to success online. The immortalized Old Spice campaign was deemed a success due to its millions upon millions of views and more importantly – shares. The Old Spice guy told his epic story about how Old Spice has helped him achieve the apex of manliness. People who heard his story found it intriguing enough to pass along to their friends and family who then passed it on further. The story stuck well enough that we’re still talking about it today, over a year later.
We can now pass stories on quicker and more efficiently than any society in human history. Great stories have the potential to reach a lot of people, with a reach that can grown exponentially. Instead of orally re-telling a story, we can now retweet, reblog, pin or stumble that story. How your brand tells their story will impact their success…and ultimately survival. It’s not just your brand’s story that matters but the delivery of that story that will affect the stickiness of it.
Is your brand’s story worth passing down?