Stories help us understand the world around us. They have a sticky quality to them when they work and are told well. Somehow we are made to create and retell stories and these sticky stories are often part of culture society and of course history. The meaning they create helps us make connections between the many different ideas we hold in our heads. Stories have the power to conjure up visual interpretations of ideas and concepts. These visuals allow us to see how different ideas fit together but these visuals also trigger emotions from our memory of events and experiences associated with our mental pictures. Sound, texture, smell and taste all have the same effect of crating these vistas. that’s why a smell, a song or a picture , perhaps of a holiday, can transport you to a different place, make your heart race and skin to prickle. We have all had these moments and its the story that these create that supports or alters our current behaviour.
When the topic of storytelling is brought up in the board room for a company or in the marketing department for a brand, many people expect that they have to create a novel or epic. In fact the stories we speak of in storytelling are small. Sometimes they are just turn of phrases or metaphor. The best way to think of them are to think of the film premise you read on the back of a DVD. They capture nearly two hours of a film into a couple of sentences. From this stories can be expanded or told in chapters but often the essence or premise of the story is told most frequently.
Our main thirst for telling stories is to motivate and create trust. We tell stories to create or sustain faith in ourselves. When we tell stories that incorporate brands we have bought or created we are again telling stories that in some small fashion are told to build trust. Our aims, on either a conscious or subconscious level is to build trust and faith in ourselves. Brands help us be the way we feel most authentic, dynamic or self fulfilling. Brands support our personal story, perpetuating the persona we are constantly building or supporting. Some brands play a big part or our life story and some just a minor or supporting role. Either way brands we need, but not commodities, become part of our story.
As brands become incorporated into our lives we use them to tell wider stories to other people and groups. In this way the stories we tell build trust and faith in ourselves with the public. They aim to show the authentic us and help up motivate and persuade the people we wish to influence.