Brand Storytelling: The 7 Story Archetypes and How to Infuse Them into Your Content

Have you often wondered why certain stories appear similar? It is because they are created from one of the seven story archetypes.

In his book ‘The 7 Basic Plots’, Christopher Booker describes the common plots associated with storytelling and how authors have used them to hold their readers spellbound throughout history.

In marketing, advertisers and content writers use the same concept to connect the audiences to their product. Storytelling is common in content marketing. This is not surprising, because humans are naturally drawn to stories.

Our brains have been hard-wired by evolution to respond automatically to stories in a process known as neuro coupling. We crave them; this is why we are 22 times more likely to recall the details of a story than a factual statement.

Where to Start

Before we begin, it is important to know what brand storytelling really is. Contrary to popular opinion, it is more than just a blog or a social media post. The business of brand storytelling combines many important aspects:

  • What is your business about?
  • What does your business hope to achieve?
  • How do you solve problems?
  • How does your product /service add value and care?
  • What message do you use to engage and contribute?

These are important questions to consider when creating content for your audience.

Where to start? Do what creative writers and authors have been doing for years – start by understanding the basis of your story

Note that your business is the story. It has characters (a hero, a mentor and a villain). All these characters exist in a given landscape (the setting).

The hero of your story is the client and they have a goal they want to achieve. There are obstacles (pain-points) that stand in the way of their success. Your brand is the mentor that is there to guide the client safely towards their goal.

Both the hero and mentor have ‘super powers’ or special abilities that make it possible to collaborate and succeed. All this is represented in a plot – a specific framework that determines how the story is told.

Start with your mission and vision – the ‘Big Why’- and the reason for starting your business. The plot/theme of your business is the foundation for your branding story. It is what guides you in choosing certain archetypes, metaphors, languages and symbols for your communications.

Are you using Storytelling to Sell?

Stories are how we connect with our peers and learn things as we go on. We all know this, but generally don’t leverage this opportunity to market our business.

Is your brand expressed in a way that is focused and easy to understand? Do you use a specific theme with symbols and metaphors? Or do you just remember to plug in a story when writing a blog post?

It may not be your fault. Most of the resources available online are about the ‘why’ of storytelling, and not the ‘how’. If we focused more on the execution, it would be easier to produce more useful content for our business.

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