We’ve talked about how great companies live great stories, but what does this look like for you? How can you drive loyalty and interaction by shaping your own story? Here are three things every great story has in common.
Every story has a hero, a conflict, and a purpose. These three key components play out in the journey of a story. The hero must travel this journey, face the conflict or struggle and, by doing so, fulfill his or her purpose. It’s this conflict that attracts us. As humans, we are drawn to this common ground of struggle because we face them as well; we inherently bond to the hero on a personal level. Through it all, the hero shapes a foundation by which they make their decisions, developing a purpose for their existence.
Who, as a company, do you want to be seen as and known for? Are you eco-conscious? Do you strive to be an industry leader? Are you uncompromising on quality? Perhaps you are serious, or maybe you are fun. Take a moment to honestly evaluate the motives you value most, and narrow it down to three strong morals your company aligns with. These morals can be instrumental in focusing your brand inside and out on goals that matter and will help define for you what it means to be a hero in your story.
Many brands are waking up to the truth that your customer is looking for an honest company to align with. This means you face the tough questions of your industry. It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, just openly realistic. Patagonia is a great advocate of sustainable products, but they also recognize that manufacturing will always leave a footprint. They don’t shy away from their conflict; rather they embrace it and fight to improve this reality.
Most companies know why they exist, but many have not developed a purpose for fighting to exist. This may look like a social cause you want to support, but at its root is the morals by which you have defined and make your decisions. Coca-Cola wants to help educate women in developing countries to become self-reliant. Nike focuses on being the best in all they do and translates that to their athletes. A purpose allows your customers to view you as a company with heart; it gives them more than a product to support.
Now your company has a great story. You have a hero, your conflicts are defined, and you have found your purpose in overcoming. Without this intersection clearly defined, you are telling your viewers you don’t have the answer to bridge them between the chasms their struggles create. This intersection is the heart of your story, and it should become why your brand exists. You will show your customers how they can overcome their own conflicts in life.
With that, we leave you with a great story. Can you pick out the three components? Hero, conflict, and purpose.
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These three key components play out in the journey of a story.
It is not dramatic to say then that marketing today is the most powerful force of change in our lives and societal norms.
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