Did you know that at this year’s Reno-Tahoe American Marketing Association’s annual Ace Awards event, the “People’s Choice” award went to the Northern Nevada Ronald McDonald House Charities for their video about the Norvell Family’s story?
What’s significant about this, is that out of 100+ possible nominations that the public at large was able to vote on, the majority chose to vote for this particular marketing initiative as their favorite, which I think speaks almost entirely to the power of story.
In approximately six minutes, Charlene Norvell talks about her personal story and experience working with the Ronald McDonald house after her son was born at only 26 weeks. It’s a simple, powerful story told without flashy graphics, dramatic re-enactments, or infused with unneccessary music and sound effects. So, what is it that makes a powerful story?
The Power of a Good Story
According to storytelling expert and Phoenix, AZ-based advertising agency owner Park Howell, who recently launched the new website “The Business of Story,” recognizing the humanity in a story helps consumers connect and empathize with the content. They become absorbed by your product, design, or message. Ultimately, “stories help you move your cause, your mission, your product or service further, faster, by helping your customers intertwine their story with your story,” as told in this article to Jay Baer.
How to Tell Better Stories
Through a series of bi-weekly podcasts, Howell is now offering insights from authors, screenwriters, producers, and makers alike to share their thoughts, tips, and tricks about storytelling to help you better connect with your own audience, which I highly encourage you to check it out. His website also offers a variety of tools such an interactive PDF that you can download to help you better craft stories, or the Story Cycle eBook aimed at sharing proven techniques for better storytelling.
Specifically, Howell also shares the following tips from a recent article he wrote entitled “6 Ways to Become a More Potent Brand Storyteller.”
- Appreciate why stories trump all other blather in the Attention Economy
- Place your customer at the center of your brand story
- Tell stories to help your audience care
- Leverage storytelling to turn customers into brand activists
- Share your brand values with your customers through stories
- Use story as the secret sauce in your content marketing
Combined, these new tools provide an eye-opening, multi-faceted look into both the art and science of storytelling, by shedding light on the many ways you can utilize this technique to help build your brand and better connect with customers.
Park Howell founded Park&Co, an award-winning brand and creative consultancy, in 1995 in Phoenix, Az. The agency ignites the growth of purpose-driven people, products, companies and causes through the power of the Story Cycle. Park was named Advertising Person of the Year in 2010 by the American Advertising Federation of Metro Phoenix. The following year, his agency was recognized among the Top 10 Impact Companies in Arizona by the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to running Park&Co, Park created and is teaching the communications curriculum for the new Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership program at Arizona State University. He turns sustainability executives into Chief Storytelling Officers to advance their social initiatives further, faster. The curriculum is based on the agency’s proven 10-step brand strategy and storytelling method called the Story Cycle. Park takes readers through the proprietary process in a book called, Story Built: How To Craft Spellbinding Brand Stories in 10 Easy Steps, which will be published this Fall. You can explore his insights about sustainable storytelling, and download a preview of his book, at ParkHowell.com.