Strategic Advantage 

Marketing, Social Media and Business Strategies

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Thought leadership for business development.


 


What’s Your Story?

June 28th, 2017 by Dale Jones

“… A story that resonates helps us to deeply believe in ourselves, individually and collectively, and in the vision for the collective experience.” Harvard Business Review

When our kids were little, they would eagerly snuggle up on the couch to read over and again favorites such as Fuzzy Tail Bunny, Guess How Much I Love You or any book that would take us to Narnia or Wonderland.

Many recall with nostalgia gatherings around the kitchen table, hearing and telling stories about legendary relatives or perhaps amazing peers or simply the day’s events. These instances are the beginnings and ongoing catalysts for most people’s appreciation for story.

Storybooks to faith gatherings and beyond, we are continually drawn into the antics, emotion, trials, lessons and the humor of stories. Storytelling is in our nature; it is the way we most naturally communicate and engage with each other.

Storytelling touches our hearts as well as our heads.  Stories provide credibility and emotion. Credible ideas make people believe. Emotional ideas make people act.

So what is your story? Is it relevant?
Tell me a fact and I’ll learn.
Tell me a truth
and I’ll believe.
But tell me a story
and it will live in my heart forever.
- Native American Proverb

Strategic Storytelling is the use of this timeless and infinitely familiar craft to focus and inspire brands, businesses and people.

Imagine yourself at a meeting with a venture capitalist. You need a few million dollars to launch a new technology that will remove pollutants from water at almost no cost. You might present a few dozen data packed slides showing revenues, costs, discounted cash flows, and projected profitability.

Now imagine relating a story about what inspired you to create the technology in the first place… about a trip you made to Africa, where you found millions of people suffering from an inadequate water supply, and how one family in this little village lost their children as a result.

Then, you describe a scene where this new technology has been implemented in that village, and the entire village now has an inexhaustible supply of clean water. There are no more deaths as a result.

Stories are powerful influencers, perhaps more than any other influencer.

Storytelling is the new differentiator. Facts and figures, specifications and price are all still important. But it takes stories to connect with customers on an emotional level. The motivation to choose one brand over another – when the choices are endless – is triggered by emotion.