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The Art of Storymaking

October 2, 2014 Bradford Group Administrator

“The future of storytelling isn’t about telling anyone anything. It’s about storymaking, where the brand facilitates and taps into the stories people are creating and sharing with each other,” reported AdAge earlier this month.

Take a look at Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign that acknowledges this future of marketing.

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This promotion, which has names on cans and bottle labels, inspires people to create their own stories.

Perhaps the best example of this is by Patrick and Whitney McGillicuddy, who used the “Share a Coke” campaign to announce their pregnancy in this video.

Even smaller stories, like a friend surprising you at work with a “Sam” bottle, create personal moments with the brand.

Of course, not every company is Coca-Cola. Here are three steps to become a successful storymaker for your business – no matter the size:

1.    Tap into emotions. Consumers respond to elements of personalization and stories that heighten emotions. You, or your sales team, most likely already know some of your clients’ fondest memories about using your product or service. Start there.

Let’s say, for example, that you own a countertop fabrication company. People don’t want a slab of granite. They want a space to prepare breakfasts, lunches and dinners for their family. These are the times in the kitchen they will reflect back on. The countertop, therefore, is the gateway to a stream of happy memories.

2.    Create an experience. Take one of those stories and instead of telling it to your audience (a one-way street), make a collaborative experience around it. Empower consumers to participate and create their own content that they can share with their friends and family.

If we go back to the countertop example, you can encourage your customers to share photos of their family preparing Thanksgiving dinner in the kitchen or a recipe of their favorite meal.

3.    Use customer-curated content. Take the conversations and user-created content that sparked from your campaign and use it your next series of commercials or share them on your social media channels.

Take these photos and recipes and post them on your website and social media feeds. This will not only boost participation from other people, but will also inspire those who are featured to share with their networks.

What do you think? Do brands need to start storymaking and let go of storytelling?

Photo Credits: ShareACoke.com & George

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