Why you need to care about narrative
I created Go Narrative based on a passion for helping others lead fulling lives and run successful businesses fueled by the power of the modern narrative.
"I got this" I hear you cry "Isn't this just storytelling?"
No it's not.
Storytelling has been all the rage in marketing over the past five years. Narrative takes it further. It is the application of storytelling for impact.
For example, hi-tech needs well-crafted narratives. Why? There is much competition, and noise. Customers are fickle in the age of the cloud. Creating a sticky customer journey requires engaging, intentional engagement.
Most people don't know how to decode a business problem and recode it into a story. Let alone a collection of narratives across multiple products, markets, channels and customer journeys.
Why is designing narratives hard?
How can something which is so much a part of who we are (well said here by Story & Heart) be difficult to apply practically?
You get blinded by the details. You are juggling many components and are an expert in your business. The outcome of which is that you talk like an expert, you use TLAs and in-the-know jargon. You can't see the wood for the trees. The result? You lose people.
Case study: The climate change expert. This article from 1998 does a great job of experts speaking to experts. Does it get you to care? Probably not. You might not even understand some of the words being used "midtroposphere". WTF? On the other hand take a look at this article "why you need to care about climate change - now". How we talk about climate change has changed since 1998. The language is simple, human and resonates with something you care about (your safety). It's a micro-narrative that puts you at the center of the story. You care. You are moved to act.
"Around the world, scientists are tracking storms that are bigger, heat that is more intense and droughts that last longer."
Stories are exciting! They have the power to change us when told in a compelling way, using the right narrative for the desired outcome.
Start with your story, identify your audience, channel and objectives. Then build narratives that convey it in a simple way. Story is the who, what, how, when and where. It can be sliced and diced in many, many ways. How you tell it can affects outcome, as any liar will tell you.
Take something we have all done, going on vacation. Think about your last one. Consider the planning, the journey, the experience at the destination and so forth. Did you have fun (I hope so)? Were you robbed (I hope not)! What did you learn, see, experience? You can tell a macro narrative of "the vacation". You can share how you were moved and changed by something you experienced (a sub narrative) or a lesson you learned in this different place (a micro-narrative). All of these sit in the storyscape of your vacation.
The same goes for your business and you are probably getting it wrong.
I'll end with some story-porn. I'm a sucker for a good film - in a five minute film you can land one narrative and open the imagination to many more.
As Story & Heart shared in the link above here is Blood & Oil by Cale Glendening. Enjoy!