Monday, October 30, 2006

The Common Touch

Anxiousness, fear, insecurity, change has left us feeling burned out and craving for something deep and meaningful.

We walk amongst a sea of people yet our shadow’s the only one that walks beside us. There is no one to turn to, nobody is listening. We walk alone.

In the frenzy of our daily lives we have realised that no matter what we do and no matter how successful we are at doing it, we are still left with a profound and deep feeling of dissatisfaction.

We’re occupied with feeding our bodies whilst our soul is dying and we’re desperately hoping that someone will find us and rescue us.

We’re all unique but the common link amongst us, that binds us together, is our need to be loved, to belong, to connect and to be touched in some way.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Wake up tiger

My ex-boss, mentor and good friend Richard has just finished writing a book. It's about unleashing the wild tiger within each of us and being true to ourselves. It is one of the best books I have ever read and I want to share a lil snippet from the book with you:

"Brand me is not about fitting the mould. It's about turning up, and saying "This is who I am", and then looking for the support that follows. There is only one of you in the world. It is not your business to judge yourself, or decide if it's a good or a bad thing. Your business is to make it and keep it yours".

It's time to drop the pose
Time to drop the excuses
Time to get the balance right
Time to come from a place called the "deeper me"
Time to Wake up Tiger"

Here's to all you people who are living their lives on their terms!

(Wake up Tiger will be out in March 07)

Tell me a story

My very eager mother just sat upon new paint.

Does the sentence above mean anything to you? To me, it was a way of remembering the nine planets according to size. That sentence was definitely more interesting, engaging and easier to remember than having being told that there were nine planets and they were..

The simple fact is that facts aren’t exciting. Facts don’t enchant, fascinate, entertain or captivate our imagination. Stories do.

Facts are shallow and exclusive. Stories on the other hand, add meaning and depth – they are inviting and take us on a journey. They are personal and powerful.

Stories help us connect and make sense of our world. Stories make us laugh and cry. They speak to our hearts. They move us. They make us feel. Facts don’t. And that is why people remember stories, not facts.

The truth is that our universe is made up of stories and we are all storytellers.

A good story is exactly what a brand craves. Stories are a powerful, compelling and persuasive means of communication.

Brands that we love, admire and respect are great storytellers. A favourite of mine is the brand Camper. You learn the Camper story with every pair of shoes. It's usually printed on an attached tag or in an accompanying brochure. The words or pictures may vary, but the message is clear: These shoes come from Majorca, a Spanish island in the Mediterranean. "Camper" means "peasant" in Catalan, and the shoes are inspired by farmer footwear and steeped in island tradition. Fluxa, who started Camper in 1975 realised that Camper had to be about a place and the history associated with it. I buy into this story, because it connects with me on an emotional level. Camper makes me feel as though I am learning a lesson about life rather than simply buying a pair of shoes.

With people being exposed to over 4000 messages a day, the need to engage meaningfully has never been more critical and the application of the principles of storytelling has never seemed so appealing.

Most importantly stories help humanise a brand and in the present climate, people like nothing better than to feel that they are interacting with a human and not a nameless, faceless, emotionless corporation.

Also, when people interact with your brand, they are providing an opportunity to share a story. It may be their experience with your product, or an interaction with the sales staff, or how a complaint was handled. A brand that’s a good storyteller will find a good brand or consumer story and share it with others.

If we want our brand to stand the test of time and competition, we need to stop thinking of ourselves as advertisers and start thinking of ourselves as storytellers.