How to Find the Stories Your Customers Want to HearDecember, 6 2012
Stories are more powerful than ever because we are overloaded with information. Good stories cut through the noise and capture people on an emotional level to create a deeper bond to become memorable.
Elements of a good story should include:
- A clear beginning and end
- A clear message
When you tell the right story will help you break through the clutter and grab customers’ attention and make them fall in love with your brand says Minda Zetlin, contributor to Inc., in a recent column.
- Stories follow a particular pattern – Sach says stories always follow a pattern. He uses Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey idea. ”The thing about stories is, they’ve always followed a particular pattern,” Sachs says. “I use Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey idea. The outsider living in a broken world meets a mentor and goes into a magic world to fight a dragon and make the world better. That’s the Star Wars, The Matrix, and the Book of Moses, among others,” he says.
- A good story has a moral – “The best stories are all built around one key idea, one truth about how the world works,” Sachs says.
- Connect to your audience’s highest aspirations – Sachs says this sets you apart from advertising geared toward customers’ needs for safety and status. He says, “Patagonia made its entire story about exploration and protecting nature.”
- Your audience is the hero of your story – Your audience has to identify with a character in your story whether they are real or fictional. Sachs says, “Your audience is not yet living out that story. They see the world as broken, and you can be the one to call them to a higher purpose. The brands that are really breaking through are the ones doing that.”
Stories can be very powerful leadership tools if they are told well. They stick in your head, sometimes for years. Great leaders know this and use them to illustrate points and sell their ideas. Know which kind of story to tell, create interest, and draw in your listeners. Show them what you are saying, don’t just tell them.
How have you used the power of storytelling to sell your ideas or motivate your team?
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