Brand Storytelling – What’s in a Story?

Everyone has a story, told or untold, whether you know it or not. We tell stories continuously through the choices we make, the people we spend time with, and the places we go. As archives of the past and blueprints for our future choices, these stories are inseparable from our experience of the world. They help us to understand both where we are going and where we have been. 

 

Shared Experience

Whether it’s as you’re tucking in at night, while you gather around the campfire or after the lights go down at the cinema, storytelling is a ritual that will always be at the core of our societies.

Stories began as gathering rituals, creating a shared space between storyteller and audience and, like any rituals, they exist to help us through periods of change. They allow us to pass from one state to another while giving us a sense of comfort and security.

The right story shows us our significance in the order of things and helps us identify with the people around us. In fact, the earliest storytelling may have been in the form simple chants – acts of shared expression that brought a community together.

 

Shared Values

Stories are used both as a way of passing on traditional knowledge and as a symposium for new challenges. As repositries of knowledge, the best stories can both educate and reinforce, take on fresh interpretations and associations and carry messages that we can buy into.

At their most effective, they allow the storyteller to open a dialogue, where the narrative is necessarily incomplete, and where the audience’s input is constantly called upon in order to create the image of a meaningful whole. This reciprocity is evident in the fact that we retell our favourite stories over and over again, and ultimately take them on to become part of the story that we tell about ourselves.

If you’re looking for your place in the world, a story is the perfect vehicle to find your audience, align your values and nurture relationships that work to strenghten and develop your identity.

 

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