Storyteller Secrets

Strategic Storytelling-Branding 3

When Branding, it is important that you deliver one simple message.  That message must be clear and carry emotion.  As any stand-up comedian will testify to, humor is a hard topic to develop.  As a comic, you are constantly trying to figure out what will make the audience laugh.  Audience mood, subject matter, timing, and occasion are all elements in preparing humor.

On the other hand, you would think human emotion would be more straight forward.  However, humor also has, like in law, a statute of limitations.  A good example is William Shakespeare’s, “Merchant of Venice.”  In the court scene, Shylock, a Jew, will lose his fortune and must convert to Christianity.  Today, when this scene is played out, there is sadness; however, 500 years ago, the audience was belly laughing at this scene.

There are still some forms of humor that maintain, like slapstick, a more physical humor that has been played out for centuries.  Humor based on a play of words can be dated as the meaning of the words or expression change in time.  Whereas, a single tear, still has the emotional response expected.

Generational family topics can be moving like the following video.  No words needed to be spoken and you understand what the company is branding.

This is another military topic where generations having shared similar ordeals and threats meet in an unlikely location.  This video also shows that sex and race are not a criteria for anyone who has served in the armed services.

Did you note that both videos use a single piano to set the emotional tone?   Music can set the tone and mood for the response expected.  Music is a powerful emotional element to add to any video.  Music must be chosen on how you want the audience to react and experience, not what you like.

 

In the Food City video, when the young man starts to walk up to the house his face is bright and happy as he looks around, then he sees the older soldier dressed up in his full-dress uniform.  The young man’s face slowly changes to a more respectful serious look, dropping his bag, as he moves slowly towards the older solder.  The witness to all of this is one woman who turns to see the two solders meet.  The embrace of the soldiers is the signal for all to encircle the two soldiers and it ends.

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In the American Airlines, a young black female dressed in camouflage fatigues is asked to board first.  The room is crowded, but there are older men who take special attention to this young soldier as she walks forward.  She walks between a row of people but spots one older man who has stood at attention  presenting her a salute.  She humbly acknowledges it with a shy smile and a nod.  The narrator’s words are unnecessary,  the message is clear.

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The piano is a string instrument.  How would an acoustic guitar change the mood in these videos?

Strategic Story

Strategic Storytelling-Branding 2

After yesterday’s Story-branding, I decided to look for videos that could be critiqued and even possibly improved if they were changed to a story.  It didn’t take long for me to find one.  Before I say anymore, look at this Real Estate video.

 

 

The video was published on July 20, 2017.  The message for this video was to announce a First-Time Home-buyers Seminar that was scheduled for August 16, 2017.  The message took 10-seconds.  So, first let’s go over what’s wrong with this video.

First, it should have already been taken down after Aug. 16th.   This is out dated information.

Humor is a great attention grabber IF it makes a point–this one didn’t.  This group is hosting a First-Time Home-buyers Seminar.  What will be discussed?  What do I need to know in order to buy my first home?  What will I get out of this seminar when I leave?  Of course, none of these questions were asked.  What I observed were five well-dressed RE agents doing out-of-date 1980 dancing in the lobby of their office.  Here is an alternative for a one-minute story presentation.

INT.  KITCHEN   {Wife hands a letter to her husband}

HUSBAND

                                                  What’s this?

WIFE

Our rent is being increased again

HUSBAND

[ANGRY AND FRUSTRATED]

{Reads the letter and then crumbles it up and throws it into the trash}

This is never going to stop.  If we owned a home, like our parents, we would be better off.  But I just don’t think we can afford it.

WIFE

I’m not sure if we could even qualify.  They go by credit scores and how much money you got in the bank.

HUSBAND

I’ve gone online, but there just too much information and education to figure it all out.  I just wish we knew someone we could talk to.

INT.  [CAMERA PANS TO RIGHT] TO RE AGENT BEHIND THE COUPLE.  CAMERA ZOOMS IN SLOWLY ON AGENT AS HE SPEAKS.

AGENT

Let us help you answer these and other questions you might have at our free First Time Home-buyers Seminar.  Come with your concerns and questions and you’ll leave not only with answers, but who knows, maybe with an idea where you might just buy your first home.  Let us be your guide and take you through the steps.  We’re here for you.

A window to click to reserve your free seats could have helped in getting customer information.  This group overlooked several opportunities to collect intel and future leads.

Now, let’s end with this advertisement for Ubiquity World Network.  Remember Hitchcock on the visuals setting the tone, communicating the message, and transferring the emotions.  You will find all three in this one-minute clip.  I especially enjoyed the transitions between scenes.  This is not hard to do, it just takes time to plan it out.  The story has a beginning with the architect designer, how the company differs from cable companies, and ends with a united family using the Net.

 

AfterEffects software can do both these transitions and animations.  Worth thinking about.

Storyteller Secrets, Strategic Story

Strategic Storytelling-Branding 1

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Strategic Stories can be transmitted through a variety of presentation formats.  Today, we will look at Story Branding.  You find this format mostly on Websites to Social Media.  Digital Storytelling should be kept at the 1 – 3-minute mark, beyond three minutes takes more creativity to keep the viewer to the end.

The two stories that follow is a second level of Strategic Storytelling we call, “ Storytelling Branding.”

Patek Philippe’s one minute commercial creates both the brand and image by using visual metaphors.  The black and white photography creates an air of sophistication and drama.  The video highlights five major cities that represent the five major UTC Time Zones.   Each time zone is equal to 10-seconds of video time.  In each of the five segments an adult is wearing a Patek Philippe watch, and the adult is always paired with a son or daughter image.   The last ten seconds explains the whole message: “You never actually own a Patek Philippe, you merely look after it for the next generation.”  This is more than just a watch to tell time, it is an investment in technology and fine art.  The music is soft, classical, and subtle.   It ends with, “Begin your own tradition.”  The Brand is set like a museum piece of fine art and the whole video plays into this concept.

 

 

The second commercial says absolutely nothing about the product, “Red Bull Stratos.”  The video was edited down to 1:30 minutes.   It is the historical documented highest free-fall jump ever done—24 miles in altitude.  The video went viral and has been seen more than 41,500,000 million times. The only brand icon visible was on top of the parachute.  Brilliant!  Red Bull, in the past has spent over $75 million per year advertising and marketing its product in the U.S.  However, the viral video, “Red Bull Stratos,” rose sales 17% to $1.6 billion dollars in the United States. Globally the company sold 5.2 billion cans, which was a 13% increase.  Red Bull’s slogan: ‘Red Bull gives you wings’.

 

Storytelling Branding has a beginning, middle, and end.  It differs from Strategic Storytelling, which is more of a persuasive argument.  The purpose of branding is to identify your product-service customer’s values.  If done correctly, the story will do most of the work.  Story Branding must build trust, confidence, and inspire emotion.  Without the emotional element, the story will end when the video ends.  Shut the sound off and see the video again, and then think about what Alfred Hitchcock once told his apprentice.  He said, “Even if they shut off the sound to my movies, the images will still deliver the message and emotions.”  This is good advice when developing your video storyboard.

Images must convey meaning through their actions and expected emotional response.  Background music should never over power, but act more as a supporting actor.  The story must lead the viewer to a conclusion on your Brand’s strength: Trust, Confidence, Reliability, or Leadership.  Which of these two videos would you use as your branding template?

 

Strategic Story

What is Strategic Storytelling-Part 5

Yesterday, we talked about how to build up curiosity as a hook to grab a reader’s attention.  Now that you got the attention it’s time to tell the story.

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There are several books teaching storytelling for business; storytelling your brand; storytelling your personal story available for purchase.  They all present the elements of storytelling:  Theme, plot, setting, character development, conflict, and tone.

Strategic Storytelling uses a persuasive argument in a story format to engage and motivate the reader towards a specific action.  Unfortunately, that is not what these books are teaching.  They are teaching their readers how to develop a story script.  I feel as I’ve returned to my English 101 high school class to learn writing comprehension—not persuasive arguments.  So, what does a Strategic Story look like?  Let’s look again at Droiple’s story and break it down.

Droiple doesn’t begin their story with their history, victories, and awards. They start off with identifying the clients present concern, anxiety, or fear in investing more money into a market that continues to change and fluctuate daily:

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“You want more paying customers but you’re afraid your marketing won’t work and you’ll lose money.”

The analytics say you are getting the clicks, so where are the customers?  If you got them to visit your site how come they aren’t following through to the last step?

“When a potential customer visits your website they’re interested in your products or services and should become your customer, right? But they don’t, why not? It happens because life’s busy and they need a reminder that they’re interested in doing business with you.”

This next agreement step is important because it builds a relationship of understanding.  It’s your money and time and you are not getting what you paid for.  Let us help show you how to lead the same customers that drifted away back to you.

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“You invest time & money to get potential customers to your website, only to see them drift away & simply forget about your business. Don’t let this happen anymore. We’ll help your business turn website visitors into paying customers.”

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“The process is called re-marketing. It’s affordable and you need to start doing it. Otherwise you are losing business.”

The story ends with light at the end of the tunnel.  This process will not only make money for you but also act as marketing insurance (a visual analogy).

“Re-marketing will make you more money and protect you from losing customers. It’s like marketing insurance.”

So, let’s summarize the major points:

  1. Identify the needs, problems, fears or anxieties of the client.
  2. Identify the frustrations the client has already experienced.
  3. Build a relationship of empathy and goodwill.
  4. Introduce your solution to your client’s need or solution desired.
  5. End as a mentor\guide with the assurance you have what the client needs.

Remember, the Strategic Story is not about you, it’s about building a relationship with your client. Identifying client fears and their needs.  Do you have any questions?  Let me know.  I’m also available for private consultation.

chechireCat

 

Strategic Story

What is Strategic Storytelling-Part 4

The Strategic Story has four main steps: Hook, Story, Benefits, and Action.  Let’s begin at the end–Action.  The action is the purpose of a Strategic Story; you want somebody to click on a button, vote in your favor, surrender information, call a number, or buy something. 

51T1SeT4LRL._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_ Moving one step back, in order to get your audience attention to act, you  need—Benefits! There should not be no more than three benefits listed.   Listing too many benefits falls under the snake oil medicine show.  In case you don’t understand the term “Snake Oil,” it was a bottle filled mostly with alcohol with a few herbs and spices added to it.  It promised a list of cures (Benefits) from removing dandruff to curing cancer.  If you have a list of benefits choose only the top three benefits your product or service offers.

curThe Story Step  drives the benefits.  I will spend more time discussing this tomorrow.  Today, I want to discuss the most important element—The Hook!  Here are two facts you might already know:

 1.     98% of Website Traffic Doesn’t convert on the first visit.

2.    Web customers may spend, on average, anywhere from under 10 seconds to 1 minute viewing a site for the first time.

 

 Let’s do an experiment.  I promise nothing bad will happen.  Let’s pretend you are looking for a car to buy online.  You have heard of Nissan and typed it into google.  Up pops Nissan.com.  If you click on this website, it will take you to Nissan Technology.  A company not associated with Nissan at all.  They sell computer internet services and unfortunately are now being sued by Nissan for name rights.  Your interest, cars, was not at this site.  You return to Google.  This is a good example of the 10 Second Under Rule.

Droiple, on the other hand, is an online marketing company.  I know the owner, Jess Walters, who is brilliant at what he does in getting customers through re-marketing.  Look at his site. Droiple.com.  He starts off with Fact #1 and adds, “you’re losing business without re-marketing.”  He is creating curiosity.  This is the key element to the hook. 

Curiosity

Thomas Hobbs, a 16th Century philosopher said, “Curiosity is the lust of the mind,” and he wasn’t far off from the truth.  In the diagram above items #1 & #2 are part of the brain’s reward system:  Pleasure and satisfaction.   Eating chocolate or having sex activates these parts of the brain.  #3 deals with having positive feelings in requiring new knowledge.

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 Curiosity has been driving force in every new innovation discovery, and invention.  So, how do you create curiosity?  

I’ll tell you Friday!

 That’s one way of doing it.  Building up the suspense and then creating an action that both satisfies the customer’s benefits and their curiosity.  Master curiosity and you hold the reigns for control of your market.  In the end, it’s about getting people to move from curiosity to story, story to benefits, and benefits to action that’s what Strategic Story is all about.

Curiosity-killed-the-cat-but-satisfaction-brought-it-back.-Eugene-ONeill