Who hasn’t told a story to himself? Who has never exaggerated his or her holiday adventures during a lunch with colleagues? Who hasn’t imagined another life, the life of their boss, around the coffee machine? Who has never told a story to their child before going to bed?
Stories keep growing and brands are also narrated in stories! They are right, because storytelling is a communication method that you need to know to engage your audience. The successful format and script? Videos marrying emotions and humour… produced by the brands themselves. Club We Are COM has met with Elise, a psychologist expert in communications, to reveal the recipe for breathtaking storytelling: 4 ingredients and the right dosage!
4 key elements to build your story
#1 The Context 💡
It is important to include universal markers that can be used for projection.
« In psychology, projection refers to the process by which an individual ascribes to someone else his or her own emotions, qualities, and desires. It is the possibility of seeing outside of oneself one’s own feelings and having the feeling that they belong to the other. « It is a reassuring mechanism for individuals. So, you have to find the subtle balance between the original idea and the projection elements common to your target audience.
#2 The who? 💃
When you start writing a story, that’s often the first question you ask yourself. It’s the one that will allow the public to be concerned, to invest your story and to identify with it.
» Unlike projection, identification is the movement by which one person can find his or her own features in the other. This develops what is called empathy. Empathy is our ability to be able to understand and feel the emotions of the other person without attributing them to ourselves. It’s powerful because it calls upon our emotional experience. »
Emotions play an important role in memorizing. It is an essential part of decision making. And they must be levers to achieve the objectives in our communication strategies.
#3 What to do
Action: this is the purely narrative element that will bring rhythm and reality to the story. It is thanks to the elements of action that our story will have matter, relief and movement. Let’s say that this can be assimilated to the « principle of reality » in psychology: « it therefore refers the spectators to their own responsibility in daily life and reinforces the feeling of identification described before. »
There, it is simply the essence of your story that is the key to meaning. The why must absolutely refer to one or several universal topics:
« The universal is what is opposed to the particular ». It must therefore address common topics, whatever our culture, our beliefs, our values or morals, our sexual identity, etc., and must echo the viewer. Beware, to understand it, the spectator does not necessarily need to have experienced it ». Examples: childhood or family, poverty or wealth are universal subjects.
Now create your story! Are you ready🖋️?
Step 1: Setting the scene
Your storytelling can be anchored in a local or known situation. It must also be universal but embodied in a specific environment. Let’s get down to business!
Step 2: Identify who does what and why
It is the essence of your story; which character is going to embody it and be the keeper of the meaning?
Step 3: Create tension by opposing elements
That’s when the story begins to live. The balance takes shape between the 4 elements: Context – who – does what – why. As the tension increases, the story will become even more breathless. The intensity of the story here is rather low.
Step 4: Sharpen the details to serve the tension
By keeping the natural temporality of the story, elements can be added that make the main character’s situation more complex. It is the character’s ability to face, then to be confronted again with surprising situations that will create a bond with the spectator and confess an attachment or even a form of addiction.
This is exactly what we experience in our daily lives: facing unexpected situations, finding solutions and being asked for help again. It is once again all of the psychic movements (identification, projection, universality, generalization, principle of reality) that will maintain the attention and involvement of your target.
TOP 3 best practices identified by clubbers
1. The hero 🤠- What is important is that your reader can find him/herself in your heroes, your brand ambassadors.
2. Emotion 💕 – Bet it all on it! If you manage to arouse a strong emotion – whether positive or negative – your message will be heard and more, remembered.
3. Be creative 🖌️– Trust your instincts (or not). Finding the right balance between reliable benchmarks and an original idea will help you gain an audience.
Join the We Are COM Club
The Club We Are COM allows Corporate Communication teams to progress together through moments of sharing best practices only between peers, across all sectors. Objective: 1h30 of immersion once a month on practical cases and concrete answers to the major challenges of the COM. A transparent and independent exchange based on feedback: 0% self-promotion, 100% conviction.