Here is a great example of a brilliantly executed corporate story. Watch this before proceeding with the rest of this post.
What I like about this kind of story is that they don’t let the technology get in the way of the story. The technology is just a supporting actor in the unfolding story.
I’ve seen many technology demonstrations done in a story style, but the technology is called out as the focus. The actors dialog is just a bit of glue designed to get us from one feature demo to another. Usually it’s because the emphasis on building the story has been the product features rather than a compelling and captivating storyline. The result is usually a good demo of technology capability (facts) but not a story that will be remembered. People will often forget you and the facts you present, but they likely remember your story and the way you made them feel. From the video story shown, how well could you recount the story? How many product features can you remember seeing?
Great corporate storytelling is not about the performance.
It’s more like picking someone’s pocket.
They don’t know what’s happened until later (if ever).
But instead of taking something, you have instead provided an insight, touched an emotion or sparked their imagination.
As you watched this story unfold, you probably noticed technology was being used, but it was done in a subtle way to support the story…not vice versa. And if you watch it a second time, look for the technology inserts. They comprise only 40 seconds of on-screen time (only 20% of the video duration) and show eight different features (search using text string “park with ancient gate in lahore” to find the gate’s name; search to find the food type “what is jajariya”; search using geographic relationship “oldest sweet shop near mochi gate in lahore”; search “fatal sweets lahore”; google map with vendor names; search for India visa requirements; search for weather in destination; search for arrival time by flight number.)
People will forget what you said and they will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.
– Maya Angelou
Think about how you felt when you saw the Google story unfold. If you’d didn’t get emotionally connected, check your pulse.
Frank Luntz, Chairman and CEO of Luntz Global in his talk to the Milken Institute titled “Words That Work: It’s Not What you Say, It’s What People Hear” started his talk with this statement, “All you business people in here, you have no heart. You have no emotion. You have no passion.” Although it was cut from his video, I believe one of the ads he shared was the Google ad above. He follows the ad showing by saying,
“Why don’t you people in the business world talk that way? Why don’t you relate to people that way?”
– Frank Luntz
The most common answer: There is no story!
Businesses and organizations have facts and figures. They have references and polls. Some have products and features. But they are missing the story.
People are no longer buying goods and services. They are buying stories, relations and magic.
– Seth Godin
Take a look at your latest communications. Pull up that presentation you’re planning to give. Record yourself doing that product demo or pitch and play it back. Are you educating or enchanting? Are you talking to them or sharing with them? Are you selling or giving them the opportunity to buy?
We are all in the business of story. What’s your story?
If you need any assistance discovering or refining your story, let me know. I would be honored to assist you in whatever way I can. #StoryMatters