Answering a question about ‘narrative space’

By Limor Shiponi

Following the post “Narrative space | storytelling for brands who understand ‘us’ – step-by-step example” I received a request to clarify a sentance appearing at the end of the post:

… and anything else we can gain from listening to what’s going on in the narrative space.

The person wants to know how we listen to the narrative space.

Simple: we go and listen to what people are saying in the shops. We join the staff and mingle. If we can’t get there we ask the staff in the shops to do it and we equip them with some small techniques that will help them elicit a conversation that will not feel like the customer is being surveyed but more like small-talk.

We listen for the actual words and the way they are uttered. We need the context – who is talking to who, where, why, what is the occasion? if a person walks into the shop on her or his own (in case men are coming for presents) we start a conversation under the condition we are not intruding, only if we see it can happen.

This is where being storytellers helps us again – we do it naturally, with ease, without embarrassment since we are used to talking to total strangers and to moving in and out of characteristics while preserving our self – it does not feel like we are acting or something.

Then we collect all those conversations and figure them out. If storytellers are doing the listening it’s easier – we have an ear for what is significant. If we are doing it in “remote control” we ask the staff to write down little notes stating exactly what was said without interpreting it.

We do exactly the same thing with the brand’s other character-groups too. The outcome of the analysis turns into new story material and sent out again to meet the audience every few months, which helps keeping the story relevant, dynamic and fresh.

Hope this helps. I promised to answer here so maybe others can benefit.

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