Believe the religion or not, probably the best stories you’ve heard in your life was from Jesus, Abraham, Musa, Solomon or Prophet Muhammad!
Their stories are so persistent that even after thousands of years, we know them, repeat them and have an emotional and mysterious feeling about them — even if we don’t believe the religion!
The concept of Marketing Storytelling is nothing new, but explaining it is a bit hard as brands really need to feel and deeply understand the concept in order to implement it correctly.
That is why not every brand story is a successful one. Actually, few brands can tell great stories that create emotional bound with their audience. Think about Nike, Redbull or Coke! And how their slogans and values sync with every piece of content they create. “Redbull Gives You Wings…”
They have a clear mission and vision
Every prophet had a crystal clear vision. A dream destination and a mission on how to reach to that dream! Take Prophet Musa as an example:
~Musa’s Vision: For Musa and his community (Sons of Israel), the vision was bringing his people to the Promised Land, The Land of Milk and Honey — so that they will get freed of pharaoh’s oppression!
~Musa’s Mission: His mission was to invite pharaoh and bani Israelis to his religion — worship god — and the famous 10 commandments of musa.
To build a successful brand and tell a great story, first thing you need is having a clear mission and vision. How you want to make the world a better place by helping your audience and fulfilling their needs? Where are you going with you people and your business ship?
Once you have your vision, think about how you can show it to your audience through every piece of content you create. Show it from different angles!
They have strong values and believes
Prophets… They are all about values and beliefs! Not only they believe in their values with their soul but they communicate them in a way that everyone -in or out- of their community clearly knows about those beliefs.
~Believe in the oneness of god — The day of judgement — Peace and Forgiveness — Greed vs Contentment… Lots of different values.
Every organization have values and beliefs or should create them. Creating and documenting the values is not enough. You should consistently communicate those values with your audience and they should see them in your contents and working process.
They LIVE the story
One of the strongest personal brands i’ve seen was prophet Muhammad! He LIVEd his story. You see the commitment to values in every single action he takes.
~For more than 13 years, people was insulting and offending him everyday. And for all the 13 years, he stayed kind and patient to offenders.
~For months, every time Muhammad wanted to get out of his home, an old man was throwing ashes on his head. One day the prophet noticed that the old man isn’t doing that for few days. So he asked his friends, where is that man? Why he is not throwing ashes on my head anymore?
~The guys said, he is sick and bedridden! So Muhammad went to visit the sick man to ask about his health… Even after all of the curses and insults!
The key to a great storytelling is actually living your story everyday.
When you live your story and have a discipline to stay royal to your values, it becomes a reality. And when it becomes a reality people believe it; And then your story becomes part of the original you! Again, people must SEE it in your actions and contents!
They teach instead of sell
Teaching is the job of prophets.
The first thing every prophet did with their community or their opponents was trying to teach about the values of worshiping god instead of forcing or trying to sell ideas.
~Noah was inviting his people to believe in god and alerting them about the big storm for 999 years! For almost 999 years, he consistently discuss, trying to teach his people about the values of believing in god!
Prophets wanted their audience to truly understand the values and become better human beings. Who do YOU want your customers to become?
They have rituals and consistency
Going to Mosque and Daily prayer for islam or Church for christians is just one of the rituals prophets have. You have a set of rules and believes which you repeat and adore them everyday — Consistently!
Some brand ritual examples:
Breaking a KitKat into halves and eating it on a break;
That’s how KitKat plans to make a brand ritual. If you’re a fan of KitKat, when you think of a break after hard work, you think of having a KitKat — It’s about feeling relaxed while having a break not the taste of the snack! 😉
Separating your Oreo and dunking it in milk;
Oreo is my favorite one. “Milk’s favorite cookie” — Creating a ritual of dunking oreo cookies in milk and eat it with joy. It does work! Their superior brand strategy made oreo the absolute global market leader in cookie industry, a super bloody industry with really tough competition.
The type of rituals for every brand is different. You need to find your unique type of brand ritual which is synced with your product, brand values and communication strategy.
They care about helping and human needs
The first thing about a great product and being fit into the market is understanding the customer needs and solving their problems! Not just understanding the needs but caring about customers as human beings and trying to deliver a great customer service to them.
They stand for their point of view and have enemies!
Having a point of view, standing for it and having opponents may be one of the best things you can have as a brand. When you have opponents, you know you are standing for something and moving forward. But you have to choose carefully what are you standing for!
~Prophet Abraham was against worshiping idols. One day when the people and the king nemrud went out of town for a festival, he went and broke all the idols expect the chief idol, and throw the axe on its shoulder!
~When the king came back to town and angrily asked who broke the idols? Ibrahim said, asked the chief idol, he may know the answer. The rest is history…
- They grow a community
- They create an emotional relationship with the audience
- They are mysterious
The whole story!
Marketing is about humans. It is about nature and the deepest human desires to be part of a story they believe. The more you know about marketing, the more you understand that you know nothing!
The art is not to make a story; We all have stories, some are good, some are pretty bad! The art is to live your story and communicate it in a way that others want to become part of it.
The concept needs more thoughts and i hope to write more about it in near future.