Thursday, July 22, 2010

What's Your Story?

Among the most effective ways of inspiring love in the hearts of consumers is through storytelling.

Stories play an indispensable role in the way we see ourselves. The philosopher Daniel Dennett has written extensively about how the capacity to tell stories is a key source of human consciousness. It’s also what makes humans unique from other animals. According to Dennett “our fundamental tactic of self-protection, self-control and self-definition is not spinning webs or building dams, but telling stories.”

Stories permeate our every thought. As psychologist David Schiffrin once wrote, “we dream in narrative, daydream in narrative, remember, anticipate, hope, despair, believe, doubt, plan, revise, criticize, gossip, learn, hate and love by narrative.”

So, it’s no wonder that stories have a seemingly magical power to captivate and inspire.

As technology has advanced over the centuries, our ability to use Sight, Sound and Motion to generate rousing narratives has advanced as well. And when it comes to telling stories that use Sisomo to create rich emotional experiences, Pixar is the uncontested king.

A recent Sunday Times of London story outlines the 10 surprisingly simple rules that Pixar follows when creating their modern masterpieces. The article is for subscribers only, but the rules are as follows:

1. Do Your Research
2. Stay True To The Materials
3. Never Compromise
4. Know Your Characters
5. Be Fearless
6. Make It Timeless
7. Consult The Experts
8. Keep It Simple
9. Ditch the Demographics
10. Break the Rules

For the Pixar team, the story comes first, and they will stop at nothing to ensure that the integrity of the story is protected.

Those who seek to create a Lovemark should take a close look at the Pixar rulebook. The way to inspire both respect and love in the hearts of consumers is to create something that isn’t just a commodity or a brand, but a profound entity with an engaging story behind it.

Just consider the difference between a commodity, like a drug store brand diaper, and a Lovemark like Pampers. When I think of Pampers, I’m brought back to the early days of eldest son Ben's childhood in Casablanca – some of the most poignant and powerful moments I’ve ever experienced.

When a product can transport you to an emotionally significant place in your life story, it doesn’t matter what it costs or whether or not it performs better than its competitor. It will inspire the kind of loyalty that lasts decades and generations.


bazza said...

What do you think they mean by rule 9. Ditch the Demographics?

Frode H said...

Great reminder. Storytelling is powerful. I read a lot of leadership books, there are books that are very theoretic and those that tells a story. Like "Soup" by Jon Gordon, he tells a story about how Nancy turns her company around. Great book, great example of good storytelling.

Mustafa İjaz said...

story is the unique way to inspire masses. although it effects as a drug.