Storytelling vs Storybuilding
In marketing, storytelling has been a buzzword for so long that, like most buzzwords, it has grown stale; and mainstream, and misunderstood. In the case of storytelling, the misunderstanding I have seen and have developed a personal opinion about is that stringing together a series of anecdotes, interviews or video’s together constitutes the telling of a story. Investements are made into producing content with a people-centric angle, a personal touch, and voilá…we are “doing” storytelling.
What we often see missing in these projects is an element we like to call “storybuilding”. The building of story is an internal project, which we do with you as a brand. It is most often the story of your brand, the anecdote that describes your raison d’etre. But how do you get to that?
We look at five elements every compelling story has and how they can be plotted on the narrative arc of a story.
- Protagonist / main character
- The dilemma, conflict or struggle of the main character
- The insight the main character has into the dilemma, this is the climax to the story
- The transformation the main character goes through thanks to this insight
- The dissolution of the dilemma, the conclusion of the story
And underlying the story is the emotional character of the narrative; is it dramatic, a comedy, inspirational, romantic etc. These elements and how you plot them on an arc with rising and falling action is what will capture and hold the attention of your audience to the conclusion of your story.
So you have to build that first story: who or what is your brands’ main character in this story, is it the product, the consumer, your ambassadors? What is his or her struggle? Which insight is key, what solution are we looking at?
As a result, you will see a consistency across the content you have produced that will boost the total effect of your efforts and make the storybuilding-whole bigger than the sum of its storytelling-parts.
The story we build is the central strategic narrative, and in it, we will have included the strategic business goals of your brand and your campaign. It then becomes the starting point of your storytelling. Every anecdote, interview, report, documentary, action edit, prize contest will relate to that strategic narrative. As a result, you will see a consistency across the content you have produced that will boost the total effect of your efforts and make the storybuilding-whole bigger than the sum of its storytelling-parts.
Building your story, like I said before, is an internal process, a very fun and creative one, and building it is done by key persons from your organisation, your brand. Which will result in a strategic narrative (or narrative strategy) that has the heart and soul of your people in it. And in translating that narrative outward, you will have connected with the people you really want to connect with, appealing to the dilemmas they themselves face, on an emotional plane they will recognize. Because it is your own, your authenticity that you are sharing with them.
Interested in knowing more? Contact us!