The Power of Stories and the Making of Legends

A couple months ago I was listening to the Twist Image podcast (apologies but I can’t remember which episode) that talked about the power of crafting a compelling story to sell your brand.

This is not new.  An organization tells a story that will resonate with the target audience so they interact with the brand – by buying it (for-profit context) or donating to it (not-for-profit context).

However, the podcast went beyond the original story to describe legend-making. Legends are created when a member of the target audience re-tells the original story with themselves or someone they know as a character.

A Simple Example

Take 30 seconds and watch the Dove Care for Men commercial (originally aired during the Super Bowl this year).  What is the story Dove is telling through the series of quick vignettes?

Now, take it a step further and try to imagine how the story would change when you re-tell it to others.  Who would be the main character?  What would the character be doing and why? Who else is around?  What are they doing?  Where is everyone?    Creating the narrative by using the answers to these questions is how a Dove legend is created.

 

Why would you consider creating the legends around your brand? 

  1. Targeted, viral, word-of-mouth – legends are told and re-told countless times.
  2. Meaningfulness – legends are an external expression of a person weaving the original story into their identity.

My Suggestion:  take a minute to think of a person in your target audience and try to imagine their re-telling of your organization’s story.

  • Who would be the main character?
  • What would the character be doing and why?
  • Who else is around?
  • What are they doing?
  • Where is everyone?
  • Other?
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About Darcy McDonald

Searching for ways that the not-for-profit sector can leverage the lessons learned by the for-profit sector.

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