In this disruptive age, the power of stories is becoming recognized as an important tool. It’s a move from cold hard facts to warm and fluid narratives. People crave a human connection with the companies whose products they buy. A cornerstone of good branding is good storytelling – but it’s a two-way street. Companies must learn to go beyond telling their own stories to listening to and understanding their customer’s stories.
By being more human and relying on storytelling and narrative strategic thinking, companies have the opportunity to be more relevant to other members of their community. Marketing strategy must be framed as a fluid, organic narrative instead of a static, immovable framework. It’s the tree versus the pyramid. Telling and listening to human stories not only provides a context to people’s lives, but also engages the imagination and interjects magic.
Founders of exceptional companies are seldom focused on their “brand” when they start their business. Instead, they focus on stories that eventually change the world, by using bottom-up strategy to see beyond the horizon.
The reality is that in the start-up phase you inherently rely on your customers, suppliers, and employees to help develop your strategy. Established companies often forget this, and try to distance themselves from their turbulent, risky beginnings. But companies would do well to rediscover their roots and revisit their own creative history.