The Storyteller – May 2010

by Stratton Craig

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We’ve been struck recently by the sheer number of companies who are now using stories or, to use the jargon, ‘brand narratives’ as part of their communications. The academic theory of ‘plot’, ‘character’, ‘point of view’ and ‘meaning-making’ has spilled over into the real world and everyone’s at it, from Bupa to Sainsburys. One company that has always used the art of storytelling effectively is Renault (remember characters Papa and Nicole?) and some of their latest adverts are just as creative. You may also have seen the recent John Lewis television ads – a beautiful narrative that resounds perfectly with a hugely widespread audience.
Of course, all marketing, indeed all human interaction, has a narrative quality, but we’re now seeing a return to storytelling in its simplest form. And it’s being used everywhere. We recently read about a form of business leadership training that is hosted by actors who specialise in what’s known as ‘long form improvisation’ (or making it up as you go along). The basic gist of it is to get office staff crafting stories off-the-cuff as a way of developing creativity when it comes to decision making.
Branding specialist, William Ryan, has said we need to ‘forget traditional positioning and brand-centric approaches to marketing. We’re now in the ‘Age of the Narrative’ where the biggest challenge facing companies is how to communicate their story in the most compelling, consistent and credible way possible – both internally and externally.’ We couldn’t agree more.
We can help you to communicate your story in all of these ways and more. By teasing out the interesting but so often forgotten details of your business we’ll help you to portray your business’ character in a way that will help you achieve your objectives. 

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