Those who tell stories rule the world – Plato
Storytelling can improve the success of your project or your business initiative. A wonderful story can also promote your brand.
Many projects do not result in success because few take the time to develop a “storyline” to support the project or the initiative.
Also, I realize that many projects are not progressed because the idea is not worthy. However, this is a post about storytelling and the premise is that the idea is worthy but the story is lacking.
This is a post about how business storytelling created a successful result for multiple business parties.
The story starts in New York late at night. Two engineers are sitting across from one another discussing the great device that they had developed. The world needed this device. The engineers needed to promote this device both internally and externally for it to be successful.
The story flashes forward to France and the conference room of an automotive company. A team of business managers and engineers, from both companies, was assembled in the conference room. On one side, was assembled the team from the company that had developed the wonderful device – on the other side, the team from the automotive company that would decide to use it (or not).
The Stakes Were High
The development team had invested much time and treasure to develop the device. The automotive company team would pay a high price for the device but through proper implementation of the device could solve a critical problem and help increase sales and profitability. The reputation and success of the development team members were on the line.
The Presentation Started
First the development team handed out a book. This book had been designed and created just for that presentation. It had an attractive well designed cover. The cover of the book was branded. The book had a table of contents that enabled all in the room to understand the storyline.
However, people had not been assembled to read the book. The book was just one angle on the story. The story would be told using a PowerPoint presentation.
The PowerPoint presentation was designed to follow the storyline presented in the book. It was also created just for the automotive audience on that day. It was also branded.
The PowerPoint presentation was presented as a story. It was the story of the development of the device and the verification that it had been developed properly. The story also explained the terrible problem that the device would solve. It created emotion related to the problem, including feelings of pain and it inspired emotions related to the solution, generating expectations of the business success it would bring.
Expectations Were Exceeded
The result of the meeting exceeded the expectations of the senior management team. The automotive company placed a large order for the device. This order and the relationship now became part of the narrative. It added to the story. The story became even more compelling (both internally and externally).
As you may have guessed already, the story started with me sitting across the desk, late at night. It was me (a young engineer at the time – so many years ago) that created the book and the PowerPoint presentation and presented the story that day in France.
Stories are needed. They help people to understand. They introduce emotion. People love stories. Stories can get people to take action.
Think about your stories and how to use them. Think of multiple ways to use them so that they strongly relate to your target audience and how multiple formats can reinforce the message.
Last of all continue to develop your story(s). You can expand the message and modify it as new things happen. In the case of the story told above, it was told repeatedly internally. Other internal teams copied the storytelling format for their own projects. The company became more successful – not just due to its ability to develop new technology and new devices – but due to its increased capabilities in the area of storytelling.
If you want to learn more about content marketing and how to use content to promote your brand and your products and services then I invite you to learn from our content marketing tutorial series. Here is the link to the Content Marketing Tutorial Introduction.