Exploring the importance of story

Ben Horowitz, bestselling author of The Hard Thing About Hard Things, said, “Your story is your strategy.”

Figuring out the story and how to tell it is the challenge for today’s communicators.

With brand growth, more than 100 communication channels and more than 250,000 new products each year, brand loyalty, brand trust and brand quality have decreased.

Jordan Clark and Michelle Taylor of Spawn Ideas emphasized how important stories are to brands. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

Jordan Clark and Michelle Taylor of Spawn Ideas emphasized how important stories are to brands. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

“Story should not be an afterthought,” said Michelle Taylor of Spawn Ideas of Anchorage, AK, who spoke at the recent NFPW conference. “It should be at the center of everything.”

A well-defined brand story is one way for a company to differentiate.

Jordan Clark, also of Spawn Ideas, referred to co.collective’s term, “StoryDoing,” in which companies consciously convey their story through direct action.

Stories are important, he said, for several reasons:

  1. Stories provide understanding. “They give us context and an understanding of our place in the world,” Clark said.
  2. Stories provide meaning.
  3. Stories are how we remember. “They start to define us,” Clark noted.
  4. Stories distinguish you. Clark said, “Our personal stories become part of our identity and how people view us.”
  5. Stories create trust.

Trust is key because 90 percent of people trust their friend’s recommendations and 70 percent trust anonymous reviews on the internet. Only 50 percent of people trust ads, he said.

“It comes down to the experience that people have with your brand or product,” Clark said.

According to co.collective, StoryDoing companies include Target, Starbucks, Walt Disney, American Express, Apple, Jet Blue and IBM. Because They outperform their storytelling peers in a number of ways, including growing revenues faster, spending less on paid media and having a more positive social media presence.

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