Narrative space | storytelling for brands who understand ‘Us’ – part II

By Limor Shiponi

If you tried the exercise I suggested in the previous post you most probably found out telling your fixed brand story to someone else while looking him in the eye feels awkward. If it felt really great and fun, you most probably already have a story that helps create a narrative space.

Storytelling and branding

Trying to keep it simple: if you’ve ever seen a storyteller in action, you’ve might noticed that although he tells what seems like a fixed text, while listening to him you get many ideas of your own. If you would ask the person next to you – she would say the same thing. If both of you would walk out of the performance and tell the story to two other people – you would not sound the same as the storyteller or as each other but you will both be telling what you perceive as the story “in your own words” and that would be ok.

How come? because in storytelling the text is only 33% of the information transferred to the listener by the storyteller. The other 66% are transferred by voice and gesture. That means you receive a hell of a lot of information to use on. You have enough to feel comfortable with, not restricted by “the” version. Not only that – while telling, the storyteller is not performing a prefixed solo act – he is experiencing the events of the story, the way they influence him that moment, the audience, the environment and himself all the time and readjusts the telling continuously to suite it to the specific telling as performing.

Many people find this idea difficult to grasp but think about it this way – the storyteller has a very sensitive gyro somewhere (most probably in his brain :)) and that gyro, while receiving a lot of information, helps him navigate his ship on course and reaching the destination. The destination is not the end of the text, no. The destination is managing to make the story live once more in a way that will involve everyone present as if the story is happening to them although it isn’t.

From all the above you can realize that storytelling is an ‘us’ effort and it includes everybody present. Wouldn’t a brand like to be able to do that? I mean, make people want to tell it’s story to others in a way that will feel natural and fun, enthusiastic and heartfelt “in their own words” feeling highly involved?

So what we actually want to do is something that resembles the above – giving everybody enough space to feel they can take part in re-telling the story and giving them enough material to use without feeling restricted or on the other hand – loosing the brand. We need a narrative space.

How? coming back in a day with an example to stick your teeth into 🙂

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