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There is much talk about storytelling and often seems to be a technique to be successful, the new silver bullet of marketing managers around the world. Graham Brown in his latest production finally gives us a clear picture of what is storytelling at the time of the social.

Storytelling at Fall Farm Days (Di vastateparksstaff)  [CC-BY-2.0], attraverso Wikimedia Commons

Storytelling at Fall Farm Days (Di vastateparksstaff) [CC-BY-2.0], attraverso Wikimedia Commons

If markets are conversations then communicate with the market means telling corporate stories. Simple. That’s why the term storytelling is such a buzzword. But then a simple and straightforward terms is shrouded in jargon and wording by marketing consultants and socialthings. Presented in a way so complicated that requires the use of superexpert consultant. For example, storytelling becomes “Storytelling in the world of organizations – large or small – is a device crucial to the governance of communication, marketing, strategic analysis, management and development of human resources as well as product design.” and the sorytelling goal then becomes to dominate the market to sell more “a corporate narrative is the key to gain supremacy of listening, to gain a dominant position in the world where symbolic and discursive narration drive impulses buying and purchase decisions, the heart of every business.

I apologize to the company who I looted the two quotes above (and which I will not mention out for respect), but I fully disagree! I personally do not find it relevant what is written above compared to what storytelling means to me. Mind you, storytelling is also a matter of specific techniques and technologies. I’m referring for example to the good work of Nancy Duarte (see the last post on the culture of storytelling in organizations) or the excellent production of Ann Hendley, from Content Rules to Everybody writes (probably the best book on the subject in recent years).

Nevertheless for me, storytelling is a tool for customer engagement and it is perfectly described by Graham Brown. In his latest production “Brand Democracy” there are all the reasons that make narrative the key element of relationship, including the commercial one. Not today, but since the birth of the human being.

Graham Brown indicate 7 Principles of Brand Democracy:

  1. People don’t buy stuff, they buy what stuff does for them
  2. Attention is your biggest cost
  3. The customer is the hero of the story
  4. It’s not who’s telling your story, but whose story you’re telling that counts
  5. People don’t want a conversation with your brand, they want a conversation with each other
  6. We need to move from viewing customers as destinations for our marketing
  7. Customers are the brand

So let’s listen his words in his last presentation accompanying Brand Democracy work.

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