Taking a trip down memory lane to a cold wintry day in March, my supervisor at my previous job urged me to register for a meetup event in Boston. First of all, I am not a fan of the setups for meetups. They always feel like forced networking. People huddle in groups and cackle over wine and cheese and then they all pretend to be interested in a particular topic. My supervisor wanted me to zip up my boots, scarf on neck and wade through the snow for this? As you can imagine this came with a lot of procrastination and contemplation but eventually, I opened the email, clicked the link and rsvp’d for the event.
The title of the meetup was ‘Storytelling in the Context of Design Thinking’ and It was hosted by IDEO. At that time, they were working on an internal project and needed inspiration from 30 strangers to flesh out the details of what they were trying to crack. To my surprise, the session turned out to be very engaging compared to other meetups I had attended. It really got me thinking after the session how important storytelling is.
Storytelling has been a huge part of our lives in more ways than we realize. Whether the story is captivating or not, we are constantly narrating the events of our daily experiences to an attentive or not so attentive crowd. With our mobile phones, we are constantly documenting stories of our lives daily, weekly or for some, hourly.
Smart businesses have incorporated this very simple tool into their marketing mix to humanize their brands and have their consumers relate better to the brand. I belong to a number of food groups on Facebook and I realized that the posts that get the most engagement have a story behind them. I recently posted a picture with a caption explaining how I could not stop picking at plantains when I fry them and the reactions in the comments were overwhelming in a good way. A lot of people could relate to what I posted and even decided to share some of their experiences as well. As a brand, if I needed to do research on consumer behavior in the context of design thinking and needed consumer insight, the 100 plus comments received on that post would have given me a good head start.
Going forward, I have decided that I would always incorporate an element of storytelling into the businesses I create content for because at the end of the day, consumers want a brand they can relate to. I also plan on capturing the not so attentive crowd by drawing them in with an experience they are familiar with and possibly convert them into brand advocates through the power of storytelling.
Are you telling a great story?