In the world of business, the idea of ‘storytelling’ can sound like a fancy extravagance. However, in 2022, it’s nothing short of a necessity. In this article, we’ll take a look at why your business should tell stories. Then we’ll go over some great examples and even give you some pointers on how to curate an impactful story of your own.
Often the first question asked when the idea of brand storytelling comes up is, “Why?”.
It’s an important question because only a few decades ago the answer was different. There are two main reasons for storytelling that our social media agency in Bangkok will cover in this article:
- Competitive advantage
Thinking back to the early days of the Ford Motor Company, we are reminded of the great Henry Ford adage: ‘You can have any color you want as long as it’s black.’
It’s true: Back in Henry Ford’s era when the competition wasn’t as fierce, you could get away with a product-dominant strategy. If you’re one of the only people making cars, with everyone else selling a horse and buggy, you’d be right in thinking a story doesn’t matter. But that was a long time ago.
Nowadays there’s fierce competition in almost every industry, with companies fighting over customers tooth and nail. Now it’s more like, ‘You can have any color you want – period.’ The Fords of the world differentiated their products by inventing new things, but we already live in a highly developed world, so how can businesses still compete and win?
The answer is by giving consumers something to believe in.
Telling your business’s story isn’t just a catchy buzz-phrase. It’s actually a form of product development, because a product with a story is much more valuable than the product alone. By telling authentic stories, we can create new value in preexisting places. The upside for this technique is massive, because there’s no limit on the value stories can create.
In today’s world, the business or brand with the best story always wins, because its products have true, unique, differentiated value.
- Because you can
Another thing to consider is the cost-benefit analysis.
Even as recently as 5 years ago, it was extremely expensive to capture and broadcast a video-based message. To rent equipment that could shoot 4k video, and get advertised on platforms that had millions of eyes, was difficult if not impossible for most firms. You needed lots of money and even more permission.
We now operate in a virtually permissionless ecosystem, with amazing technology at our fingertips – all at a fraction of the cost compared to years gone by.
With the explosion of social media, firms now have access to platforms hosting literally billions of potential customers. You no longer need the permission of a radio or television manager to approve your message; whatever it is you have to say to your customers, you can – anytime and from anywhere.
This is an opportunity of a lifetime, and any company with even a small budget can ideate, capture, and distribute their story to anyone who is willing to listen. The cost-benefit analysis is now steeply in favor of producing stories, and you don’t want to be the last business in your field to realize that.
The most powerful story in the world at the time created the most valuable company. Steve Jobs isn’t renowned for his technological or engineering know-how; he’s revered as an amazing story teller.
Apple is the clearest example of the shift from engineering to storytelling. Steve Jobs took a technically inferior product and dominated the world with it. It’s easy to take the wrong lesson from this episode, thinking that Apple’s success was somehow built upon a kind of ruse. To believe that, however, means not fully comprehending the notion that stories CREATE VALUE.
It’s true that Apple’s earlier products weren’t as fast, efficient, secure, or cheap as the competition. But was it less valuable? No – because when you bought an Apple product, for the first time you weren’t just buying a personal computer, you were buying an idea, an idea that the world could ‘think different’. And that was more important than any minor technological edge that Apple’s competitors may have had.
How to find your story
Storytelling isn’t a science, it’s an art. It’s a subjective feeling and experience, constantly shifting depending on its context. There’s no formula or idea sufficient to finding / curating your story, but there is an essential criteria: Authenticity.
In this social age, everything is transparent. The ones that hide are the most easily seen. You cannot tell a false story and expect your audience to believe in it. You must start from an authentic place.
From there, you must decide whether your story must be found or curated. Both tactics can be pursued, even at the same time.
It helps to ask lots of questions:
Why did you start doing what you are doing?
How do your products help your consumers?
What makes you different?
Those questions can provide a solid foundation for your story, and help you to uncover a true purpose for being. If you’d like to explore these concepts further, or if you don’t even know where to start, give us a call today and our digital agency in Bangkok will assist you by helping to create an authentic brand story of your own.