Data is dull and facts are forgotten. Story telling is everything. When I show you my words I show you what matters.
Honesty, vulnerability and authenticity – these are what we lay out and when we spread them before each other, we weave a story and create a platform for future trust.
I enjoyed much of the D&AD blog from Alia Al-Khatib – a story about identity behind brands and storytelling:
When I worked at the NSPCC we had an internal communications team that used verbal storytelling as a means of brand engagement. Every month, staff converge from every corner of the charity to share stories that have inspired them. Doing this in person, eye to eye, seems to help people embrace diversity and accept conflict. I think it’s because we engage in a more honest exchange of ideas when we tell stories. There’s less hubris and more vulnerability. You reveal so much more about yourself through the selection and telling of a story.
Things like tone of voice and brand language should not be regarded as the veneer. A bit of core copy tacked on as an afterthought on a document doesn’t make the whole thing ‘on-brand’. A deep and honest reflection of a collective people is what makes a brand authentic, and telling stories to each other is what gives that collective definition.
Stuart Delves made this point, when he wrote about anecdotes: there is so much more to elicit when you just talk to each other. It may seem irrelevant or indulgent to do it just for the sake of it, but it’s important if you’re going to understand your identity.
Person to person, eye-to-eye… reveal yourself. Reinforce an identity – a deep-honest reflection of a collective people….
Take a path less travelled – give yourself permission to be irrelevant and indulgent – just talk. If you are in a rush I can give you the data quick – I can make you a win-slide and spit numbers at you. If you want to connect – we have to tell a story. If it’s a story worth hearing, suddenly time becomes elastic.
Loosen up a little – you just might gain a lot.