telling a story vs. joining a story

It is often said that we as marketers need to tell stories. We need to tell our client's stories and they need to be great. While I don't disagree, I think the more accurate phrase would be that we need to join a story.

Joining a story means tapping into a movement. It means understanding people so well that the product meets their unique needs exactly. When marketers join a story they are a participant. As a participant in a story you let others talk just as much (if not more) than you, and you accept the language and the mood of the already underway story.

This is a subtle difference, but real nonetheless. The psychology of telling vs. joining is completely different.

Telling:

--All about the storyteller
--One sided communication
--Story is potentially unwanted
--Story is, well...a story

Joining:

--All about ALL participants
--Two-way communication
--Story is living and evolving
--The story keeps going when you stop talking

So instead of focusing on telling a story, I suggest we focus on joining a story.

27 comments:

Rolf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rolf said...

I'm not saying you don't have a point, I just dont think you're dead on. For it is true that the difference is subtle, so why not be subtle in the differences?

Telling a story is not about the storyteller, it is all about the cast and the moral. It's not one sided, since people interpret - sort of like Blair Witch or fast edited movies - the audience add to it.

Allowing people to take part generally reduces the involvment. When you have to take part in making up the story, the illusion falls.

That is why we watch TV. We expect and want to be told stories. From the news to CSI:Miami.

But we also play games. Allthough the the story element doesn't seem that important. Chess is old as dirt, but through all that time noone felt the need to make the pawns look like pawns, and give them names and wifes.

Im not saying telling is better than taking part - by all means. Im just saying; they're differnent. A shovle is great for digging, a spoon is great for eating.

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