Brand Storytelling: What Fear Can Teach You

KAREN THOMPSON WALKER—WHAT FEAR CAN TEACH US

Walker, a fiction writer, explains that fear is a kind of unintentional storytelling we’re all born knowing how to do. We imagine our own futures, accurately or not, by creating stories. Doing so can alter the paths we choose to take. And as is evident in the story she tells of the shipwrecked sailors, how we read the stories we create in our minds can determine whether we achieve our desired outcomes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What brands can learn from this talk:
Creating content worth sharing often requires faith and courage. Few brands are brave enough to go out on a limb, and instead create uninspiring content that prevents most people from reacting in any way, positively or negatively. It’s the fear of the unknown and the stories that brand managers create in their minds that bind their creativity and limit their spontaneity. What if the content is too edgy? What if the article ruffles too many feathers? Won’t responding to the irate customer’s Facebook post just make the problem more obvious?

Instead of fearing the unknown, take a look at the types of content and brands that have succeeded in the post-advertising age. From Red Bull to Oreo and Warby Parker, the brands that aren’t afraid to push the creative envelope, embrace unique and innovative marketing techniques and actively (and equally) respond to customers’ praise and criticism are the brands that have succeeded.

Watch Part 1 and Part 2 of Brand Storytelling

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Jon Thomas

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I love the intentionality here as well as the challenge to look at the data. That's missing so many times. I would like to offer a contrarian's take. Church members and regular attenders have so many ways to get information: Announcements, bulletins, social channels, relationships, and email being among the options. But brand new people are likely going to check out the website and that's it. It might be wiser for churches with limited time and resources to focus their website almost exclusively to guests. This group of people isn't looking for a calendar of events but wants to know about regular programs. They probably aren't interested in watching all of the messages but instead may want to preview one of the services. For the times we need church members to go to websites (sign up for camp, join a group, etc), we're probably better off designing and promoting a specific page rather than cluttering up the homepage.
 
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A great question! Unfortunately, the Church Unique Kit is no longer available in print form. We are working on revising it and updating it into an online experience, but that project is at least six months out. An alternative is to come to an upcoming certification class. There is one May 15-18 in Houston, and October 23-26 in Atlanta.
 
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