Let’s face it, 2018 has been a crazy kind of year. There’s been the crazy good kind of stuff, like weeks of sunshine, England doing quite well at the football, and that it was acceptable to drink Aperol Spritz openly in the UK.
There was the crazy, bad stuff too that you wouldn’t think you could write. I mean, Russian double agents being poisoned in Salisbury? It does sound like a story, but like many things this year, it sadly wasn’t.
What’s the point of your story?
There’s never really been a time when we don’t need to hear the good stories, the stories of businesses with heart. That word “authenticity” has been bandied around for some time now. You’ll generally find by those businesses that have lost their authentic voice. Or possibly never had one.
It’s up there with artisanal as one of the most misused words in brand stories in my view.
The point of your story is to be a touchstone for your tribe. When the world appears to be going crazy, it makes sense to have something that you’re sure of. And storytelling has always had the power to gather tribes together.
Remember why you started
Sometimes as businesses grow, they forget the story of the starting point. Ever wondered why we’re still fascinated by how Richard Branson got started? Or how The Body Shop went from one shop to everywhere? These aren’t new stories, but they are stories with roots.
And you don’t tend to get more authentic than your roots.
There’s also a tendency to love the underdog, love the trier. Your story, unless it involves the inheritance of untold riches or a massive lottery win, could be anyone’s if they applied themselves. If they love what you do, then there’ll be a bit of projecting themselves into the story.
That’s how they know yours is the tribe for them.
Keep telling your story
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that people will grow bored with your story. Your first mistake might be to think that they have actually heard it before.
Or were paying attention.
Or remember it.
Just remember you don’t have to keep telling it in the same way, or all the chapters, in the same order every time. Tell it through words, pictures, videos, interpretative dance.
Ok, maybe not the last one.
It doesn’t matter how you tell it, only that you do, and that you make it captivating. Make sure something in it captures their imagination. Stories are more memorable than facts according to research. It’s why we remember the fairytales of our childhood, but struggled with times tables.
And stories with images are even more memorable.
Even the best stories get reintepreted, reimagined, represented. Your brand story is no different.
Take it back to basics
As we reach the end of one year, and wonder what the next one has in store, then it’s a good point for some reflection. Is your brand story really telling your story in your voice? Are there new chapters that need adding in? If you haven’t added to it since the early days, then the answer is almost definitely yes.
Remember, not everything has to be good news, or a linear progression to success. In the classic hero’s journey struture to storytelling then there’s always a setback. Or two.
Invest the time now. It’s your story. It’s worth it.
What’s the story you’ll tell in 2019?