Presidential politics is about storytelling, says John Harris of Yahoo!News, commenting that Barack Obama and his team won the 2008 election because they were better storytellers than the opposition.
What’s more, adds Harris, “Presented with a vivid storyline, voters naturally tend to fit every new event or piece of information into a picture that’s already neatly framed in their minds.”
That’s the way it works in business marketing, too, say Scott and Birk Cooper and Fritz Gruntzner, authors of Tips & Traps for Marketing Your Business. “Consumers create their own associations and stories about your brand.”
“Customers don’t want to feel like they are being told a brand story. They want to tell themselves the story. They want to be a part of the story,” is Coopers’ and Gruntzner’s advice to business owners. When it comes to blogs, the Tips & Traps authors recommend using blogs to tell a story. “Engage readers of your blog with fascinating story-like entries.”
In their book The Hero and The Outlaw, Carol Pearson and Margaret Mark demonstrate that brands telling a single archetypal story have better long-term financial performance. Commenting on this book, Coopers and Gruntzner say most companies they work with are guilty of telling either no story or of trying to tell multiple stories.
“Always try to create a campaign rather than one ad,” Tips & Traps teaches. “You know you have a great advertising or communication idea when you can easily think of the next ad and the next and the next.” (I can’t help thinking that campaigns are precisely what corporate blogs are!)
According to Coopers and Gruntzner, the goal in blogging for business is “creating loyal customers who have an emotional engagement with your brand.” Each new blog post is the latest chapter in the ongoing story you tell in your blog. The authors remind us that these customers are creating their own associations with your brand. “The best you can hope to do is guide this process by giving them clues and by helping them feel something for your brand.”