All marketplace experiences are, by their nature, unique to the individual and inherently unpredictable. Try as you may, you simply can not foretell the future. You can’t stage it for your customers, nor can they orchestrate it for themselves. There are simply too many variables.
But you can understand how people construct stories through hindsight; how they organize their thoughts to create memories. And then, you may be able to help them create a story worth remembering, or even one worthy of remark.
The mind as producer and director
We don’t store a continuous, unedited, uncut version of the world around us. The mind doesn’t record each and every detail of our experiences. Rather, it automatically trims life into smaller, more manageable and meaningful scenes.
It then edits and stores those scenes, and later retrieves them in a form something like a highlight film or movie trailer; one created by us and from our particular point of view. And that final version of our story is the one that matters most to us.
We create the stories
Today’s commonly accepted view is that brands tell us their stories, primarily through various forms of communication. Unless the brand is in the business of storytelling, that’s a misguided view. In reality, we use our interaction with brands--their sceneries, props, set decorations, scripts, and actors--to construct our own stories. Ones that we star in and in roles we contsruct to make us feel good about ourselves.
And since we define ourselves both according to what we identify with and what we reject, and given the abundance of marketplace choice, we now choose interactions which we feel will produce the best story possible. And we reject the others.
Enhance their adventures
Instead of being obsessed with the details and consistency of your story, start looking for new ways to create highlights in their stories. Instead of focusing on your “what”--the logical and precise communication of your "position" and "unique selling proposition"--focus more on the “how”--the frequent introduction of emotional communication and interaction designed to bring their stories to life.
Shakespeare wrote, "All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players." That appears to be true, but he also wrote, "Life is as tedious as a twice told-tale." Prove "The Bard" wrong. Keep the tales of your brand fresh, personal and vibrant by turning your focus away from you and placing it squarely and creatively on them.
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