“The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing; it feels like a story.”
– Jim Signorelli
Jim believes that the best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing; it feels like a story. Have a look at Jim’s agency website at esw-storylab.com he practices what he preaches with website design and content.
If technology and techniques get ahead of an organization’s understanding of what it means to use story to communicate to guide your brand, the best technology won’t compensate for a weak story. Not all ads can tell a story (banner ads can’t tell a story) but that doesn’t mean a company can’t “act like a story” or “live their story.” It all boils down to the idea that everything about the company employees, communications, products, and every customer experience is already telling a story. Explicitly naming that story brings congruence to an organizations ability to stand for something meaningful.
Jim commented on a recent kerfuffle over the distinction between narrative and storytelling suggesting that in narrative there is no end to the story. Neither of us care much for wordsmithing narrative and story are pretty interchangeable. But Jim thinks it IS important to realize that living a story means there are many overlapping beginnings, middles and ends. For any client, the prevailing individual stories build themes. Jim helps clients select one overriding belief or statement above the rest.
Being unique is as much about who you aren’t as it is, who you are. It takes discipline.
Skills in facilitating group process can help you save your clients from disappearing into rhetoric and over-generalizations. Getting specific – choosing the one – can easily turn into word-smithing. Any leadership team is full of smart people with egos who can get attached to a pet story in a way that distorts the search. Finding the common denominator is a group process of trying stories on for size, investigation, and asking the hard question – Yes, that is the story we want to tell…but is that really true?
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