A story can be simplified and classified by its “plot”, similar to a technical drawing. The term originates from seafaring for the graphic representation of the ship’s route, including external influences such as wind, currents or land swabs and islands.
Finding the right stories
Your task is to think about suitable plots that could work as a story. We have already mentioned many basic conditions and you are aware of which marketing goals you are tackling. Now we only need a concrete content for which you are ready and able to saturate it with your own feelings. The seven most common plots not only serve as templates for Hollywood productions, but can also be used as templates for any kind of storytelling.
- A hero’s journey (e.g. as a reportage)
- An obstacle is overcome (e.g. fighting monsters)
- The search as a real adventure
- From dishwasher to millionaire
- Tragedy (grief is overcome)
- Rebirth or restart as initial situation comedy
The hero’s journey is already very similar to the mentioned ship’s route plot. Both is a journey with possible obstacles. If you now ask yourself when you last travelled for your company and if there were any special emotions or if these were not too private to share with your customers in storytelling, you are already on the right track.
Hero’s journey doesn’t mean travelling
It’s not about talking about your intimate experiences in public, though. On the contrary, your plot doesn’t have to be your own journey at all. Many listeners even find it selfish and egocentric for a storyteller to focus on himself as the protagonist. A third person or better, an existing (or fictitious) customer can be an excellent main character for your heroic journey.
The heroic journey as a journey is a common pattern in storytelling and film production. You could add the following external influences to the journey of your plot:
- a hero (the protagonist)
- Setbacks, doubts, circumstances
- Consultants, mentors, supporting actors
- The feeling of making a decision
- The feeling of being implemented
- Turbulence occurring during the voyage
- Encounters, hurdles, revelations
- Allies, Losses, Audits
- Way back, return and end
The hero’s journey shows that many good stories follow a similar structure. The plot provides a rough overview of what your story contains and what makes it exciting.
The image film of the over 100-year-old electrical wholesaler Alexander Bürkle uses digital transformation as a plot and focuses not only on his customers as protagonists, but also on his employees. The storytelling conveys through images how both sides think new, look new, shape a new culture of modern processes and reinvent themselves generically. The brand’s appeal is: Just start – transformations from the inside out. Perhaps you can even think of fictitious stories based on the images that could be invented on this theme.
No fear from the empty paper
Through this campaign I wanted to keep the example as abstract as possible, because the best story as a template is of no use to you if it is not your own. So think about some plots that you associate for strong emotions. Check later whether your marketing goals and framework conditions are being met in order not to kill off your ideas with too many restrictions. You already have all the information you need for your brainstorming. You should only orientate yourself on the prepared questions if you really can’t think of anything.
Good plots for your story have the following characteristics:
- Are so interesting that people like to stay with you
- They are simple and understandable, even if you only listen with one ear.
- Offer you and your customer added value
- Tell something about your product or your personality
- Keep the listener captivated until the resolution takes place