Stories pass from generation to generation. From The Iliad to Twilight, they’re shared and shared again. Movies, books, songs, poems tell various stories that evoke reactions and emotions from people. Every brand has a story to tell. The question is how will you frame your brand story to make it memorable.
The Types of Stories You See in Movies That You Can Use in Developing Your Brand
People root for the hero. It’s exciting to see the hero swoop in and save the day, seeing good triumph evil. This classic story type has excitement, danger and legendary characters. The plot is simple the villain plans on destroying the city while the hero encounters obstacles before defeating the villain thus saving the innocent. A villain isn’t necessary for creating a brand with a hero character, but the formula works the same. What are you saving your customers from? The mundane? Poor eating habits? Whatever problem your brand solves is the starting point in crafting your hero story.
Road trips, Vacations, Journeys to the beyond, people willing come along for the ride. Lord of the Rings is one epic journey that earned billions in the box office because of compelling storytelling. The famous Johnnie Walker ad is one man walking and talking about his journey. This classic story has adventure, challenges and beautiful scenery. The plot revolves around the protagonist and his/her quest to reach a destination. A journey story allows for tangible branding opportunities, especially when utilizing social media. Make your customers feel like they are part of the journey.
Laughter is beneficial for the soul. Television commercials are full of comical characters from Progressive’s Flo to the Old Spice guy. This classic story has outrageous situations, quotable punchlines, and crazy characters. Within comedy there are several classifications, to accurately define expectations. With the plethora of brands using comedy nowadays it’s slightly harder to set your brand apart, but don’t let that stop you from creating another iconic character. People always remember a hysterical joke.
People come together in times of tragedy and are sympathetic to the plights of others. Look at the ASPCA commercial with Sarah McLachlan’s famous song that attempts to tug at people’s heart in order to help end animal cruelty. This classic story has danger, loss, and newfound hope. Use tragedy in one of two ways: to inspire others or bolster the fear of missing out. In one of the most famous tragedies, Romeo & Juliet, the feuding families finally see the error of their ways after the death of their children.
Your brand doesn’t have to be melancholy in nature to reap the benefits of the tragedy story. Frame the tragedy around around something simple like a fashion crisis. Draw people in with a sad tale of a girl trying to find her dream dress to no avail with the ending message being, “don’t let this girl be you.”
The Coming of Age
It’s difficult trying to find your way in the world, that’s why there are countless stories about teenagers and young adults discovering who they are. This classic story centers around a relatable down-to-earth protagonist and full of narration, adventure, and overcoming obstacles. Refer to classics like The Breakfast Club and Now And Then or a recent hit like Boyhood. The plots of these stories revolve around the ups and downs of life. Breathe life into your brand by telling an earnest story about how you’re an everyday person just trying to survive.
Nobody or brand stays the same. The only constant is change. Villains can become heroes, the geeky kid can become the most popular on campus, the jock can become the artist. These stories of a character’s rebirth are about changing audience perceptions and giving them hope. Holiday classics like It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol are prime examples of rebirth stories. Is your brand undergoing change? Do you need to change people’s opinion, then a story of rebirth can be your gold mine.
Capture people’s attention with a memorable and shareable story. Consider your favorite book or movie, and answer why is this story intriguing. The plot and themes may differ, but at the end of the day those award-winning stories contain the same thing: heart, honesty and a unique point of view.
Have you used any of the following storylines to build or evolve your brand? Share your story in the comments below.
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