Tagged: brand

The importance of Storytelling

imageedit_2_9709146890Storytelling is a fundamental part of every great brand, business or institution. Every great brand or business has a story and that story connects to the emotions, the characters, the values of the people that live that product or business every day. Storytelling is always been a part of leadership. It is just now we’re overtly talking about it as a tool that leaders can use as opposed to just an aid in our brand’s and the products that we give to people. Storytelling says it’s not about the list of things we have to do, it’s about the connection that we give to people about a piece of information that we’re trying to share. A good story at its essence is simply conveying a message that has logic.

Here are the top 5 reasons storytelling is important for modern leaders:

#1. Storytelling can inspire people to act in unfamiliar, ambiguous and often unwelcome, ways. Tedious cascades of numbers or daze-inducing PowerPoint slides won’t achieve this goal. Even logical arguments for making the needed changes usually won’t do the trick. It is effective story telling that works, if done effectively.

#2. Good storytelling can act silently on our conscious mind. When we hear a story that touches us deeply, our lives are immersed with meaning. As listeners, we have transmitted to us that which matters. Once we make this connection, once a sense of wonder has come upon us, it does not last long, and we inevitably fall back into our everyday living, but with the difference that a radical shift in understanding may have taken place.

#3. Most business leaders are honestly bored with 90% of the conversations they have in a day. They sit at meetings and have power point after power point, and they have meeting after meeting, and they have to do list after to do list. And they’re looking to be inspired. If you have a compelling story, something that is of interest, something that has a connection then people are going to listen no matter what the medium is.

#4. Storytelling is by far the best way for leaders to communicate with people they are leading. It is inherently well adapted to handling the most obstinate leadership challenges of today – igniting change, communicating who you are, enhancing the brand, transmitting values, creating high-performance teams, sharing knowledge, taming the grapevine, leading people in to the future.

#5. Last but not the least; storytelling translates dry and abstract numbers into compelling visuals of a leader’s goals. Although good business cases are developed through the use of numbers, they are typically approved on the basis of a story—that is, a narrative that links a set of events in some kind of causal sequence, something that connects with the listeners and has depth.

At the end of the day, everyone tells stories. The stories that get repeated over and over—and become a part of an organization’s or business culture and/or heritage, and these can come from the CEO, a manager, a new hire, or anyone in between. All you need is to have context, logic and connection.

Mind your language

Mind your languageIn the advertising and marketing world its important to be cautious about the kind of language and tone you use while communicating with your internal and external customers. Any company or enterprise, irrespective of the industry, has to be aware of the fact that they have to maintain a consistent brand image. The language and the tone of communication plays a very critical role in defining and maintaining that brand image. Brand language is the body of words, phrases, and terms that an organization uses to describe its purpose or in reference to its products or services.

While defining a brand language for a company it is important to be careful about the choice of words and the tone used. Here are the 5 benefits of choosing the right brand language for your company:

Its all about Keywords: Ask your customers this: What are the words that come into their minds when they think about your business or brand? For example over 80 percent of the world’s population directly associates “dreams,” “creativity, “fantasy,” “smiles,” “magic,” and “generation” with the Disney brand. So its important to carefully chose the words that you use while communicating with customers. Its like offering a visual cue i.e. the moment someone sees your brand or company, they should associate it with certain keywords.

Build Relationships: Your tone will clearly signify how good you are with your own company objectives and the brand. Many brands use formal language, and that directly reflects in the way they deal with their customers. A more relaxed, friendly or catchy tone should be used if the company actually lives those values. So if your tone does not reflect your company values and your personality, your communications will always appear awkward.

Be positive – The key to successful branding is to chose words and a tone that gives a positive effect in the minds of the customers. When positive words become strongly associated with particular brands, these words can become assets, to the extent that competing brands may find the words difficult to use. For example words used by brands such as Kellogg’s and Gillette i.e, healthy, masculine etc.

Make it simple yet sharp: It is important to use a language that is easily understood by the masses but it should have sharp edges that cut across the normal patter of communications. Take your language cues from your company values, your brand personality and most importantly your customers. Listen to what customers say about their experiences and use those as keywords. With the advent of the internet, companies and brands have become extremely involved in social media and online listening and are actively monitoring the  most searched words, hashtags that people are interested in, most popular categories under a business and industry etc.

– Build a Perspective: It is not about what a company says, its about what your customers here or perceive. Words used should build a perspective in the minds of the customers. For example when we think of Kellogg’s we think of words such Breakfast, Snacks, Recipes, Cereal etc, but the perspective it offers to its customers is healthy and uplifting. So its important to always keep the perspective in mind while choosing the words to be used to define a brand, because at the end of the day its all about your customers.

The Playboy bunny case study

The Playboy bunny case studyPlayboy, as we all know, is a popular men’s magazine that features photos of nude women along with journals and work of fiction.

The magazine was first founded in Chicago in 1953 by Huge Hefner, partly funded by a $1000 loan from Hefner’s mother. It has been said that Hefner set about starting the playboy magazine after being denied a $5 raise as an Esquire copywriter. This first edition of Playboy was 44-pages long and had no date on its cover because Hefner wasn’t sure there would be a second edition. This first edition of the magazine is also the only Playboy that does not have Hugh Hefner’s name inside.

In the first edition of Playboy, we see Marilyn Monroe posing completely nude. Monroe did not pose nude specifically for Playboy; Hefner had purchased the picture from a local printer who made calendars.

In an interview Hefner explained his choice of a rabbit as Playboy’s:

“The rabbit, the bunny, in America has a sexual meaning, and I chose it because it’s a fresh animal, shy, vivacious, jumping – sexy. First it smells you then it escapes, then it comes back, and you feel like caressing it, playing with it. A girl resembles a bunny. Joyful, joking. She is never sophisticated, a girl you cannot really have. She is a young, healthy, simple girl – the girl next door . . . we are not interested in the mysterious, difficult woman, the femme fatale, who wears elegant underwear, with lace, and she is sad, and somehow mentally filthy. The Playboy girl has no lace, no underwear, she is naked, well-washed with soap and water, and she is happy”

In addition to its centrefold piece, a major part of Playboy for much of its existence has been the Playboy Interview, an extensive discussion between a notable individual and an interviewer. Playboy features monthly interviews of notable public figures, such as artists, architects, economists, composers, conductors, film directors, journalists, novelists, playwrights, religious figures, politicians, athletes and race car drivers.

In addition, the magazine also has a long history of publishing short stories by notable novelists such as Arthur C. Clarke, Ian Fleming, Vladimir Nabokov, Chuck Palahniuk, P. G. Wodehouse and Margaret Atwood.

The company went public in 1971, and the magazine’s circulation peaked in 1972 at more than 7 million. Playboy has seen a decline in circulation and cultural relevance because of competition in the field it founded—from Penthouse, Oui and Gallery in the 1970s; later from pornographic videos. In response, Playboy has attempted to re-assert its hold on the 18–35 male demographic through slight changes to content and focusing on issues and personalities more appropriate to its audience.

The magazine celebrated its 50th anniversary with the January 2004 issue. Celebrations were held at Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, and Moscow during the year to commemorate this event.