The team at Story Worldwide has developed a very useful and scientific approach to categorizing and developing brand stories. It’s called the Storytelling Matrix and they describe it best in the video below.
As you watch the video and listen to the examples, think about where your specific brand stories may fall — and begin to look for gaps. For example, your customer success stories or case studies may be more linear — that is, you don’t offer a way for the reader to interact. That’s fine, it’s difficult to interact with a piece of collateral that you pick up at a trade show! But, what could you do to make it more interactive? What about offering a webinar or a video of the case study that your audience could then participate in or share with others?
I think that lots of brand stories probably fall into what the Story team calls Linear, High-Density and Highly-Customized. That means the story is shared (but not participated in), filled with information (and often lacking a light touch) and very targeted to one group (and not broad). This is good if you are delivering a specific presentation to a prospect, for example. It can be highly targeted and relevant to them, But too often, we see these types of stories filled with technical detail, jargon and targeted to a tech specifier when there may be a committee of business buyers involved (NB: technology marketers, I’m looking at you…)
Consider ways that your story might be broadened to offer a fresh approach to buyers you’re not reaching today. I’m not suggesting that you “dumb down” your brand story — if you sell rocket science, you’re going to discuss math. I am suggesting though that not every story needs to be told with the withering specificity that a rocket scientist might require.
Where does your brand story fall in the storytelling matrix?
- Do you ever tear the roof off your brand story? (brandtelling.com)
About Arthur Germain
Arthur Germain, Principal & Chief Brandteller of Communication Strategy Group is the curator and main blogger for Brandtelling, a blog about Brand+Storytelling.