Powerful Examples of How Storytelling Can Mirror Company Values
Today we are not going to talk about technicalities. We are going to try and dig deeper into something that happens during, before and after the process of building digital products: community engagement through storytelling.
Storytelling was born together with the human need to communicate and share experiences; it’s a powerful art that has been evolving over time and adapting to each technological revolution, including the digital one.
Online communities constantly embrace new ways of communication to share their ideas and make sure their voices are heard. This requires a set of competences known as digital literacy, as well as a wide range of more technical skills, such as writing, photography, or video editing.
When it comes to engaging with audiences, nothing can match the power of a great story. That’s what triggers the readers’ curiosity, what captivates viewers, what catches users’ attention (and clicks) when they are scrolling down their feeds.
After capturing our interest, what kind of impact do stories have? Is storytelling just a temporary marketing trend, or is it changing the way companies are built and grow?
This research states that our brains actually don’t make a clear distinction between reading about an experience and encountering it in real life, because the same neurological regions are stimulated. Blurring lines between virtual reality and real life, it’s not just happening in movies.
Creating an interactive story that has the ability to generate impact and make us engage with others is not an easy task. It requires a structured and dynamic approach:
- Powerful narrative: what is the angle that will draw people into the story?
- Beautiful design: how can visual elements contribute to generate engagement?
- Technology support: how do we make the story interactive and easily reachable?
Clearly, this is not a one man’s job; it requires the joint efforts of a team of story creators, strategic designers and witty engineers. Let’s have a look at how teams around the world are successfully creating stories that promote their products, but also their own company culture and core values.
Typeform company documentary
A great example of powerful digital storytelling is the work done by Typeform, a popular online software as a service company specialised in building highly dynamic and customisable forms. Why is Typeform so popular? Is it because they have build a beautiful, user-friendly, interactive service? Although this might be one of the reasons, there is something else going on: they were able to place their product into a broader context, one that reaches people on a deeper human level.
This is clearly stated in one of their slogans:
It could have been an easy line, had they not taken this idea one step further, as they did. In their company documentary, called Home, the Typeform team shows how they managed to humanise the work floor. Employees describe a human-friendly working space, where the concept of home is presented as a mindset rather than just a place to return to after work. After seeing the video, don’t we all just want to work at Typeform? This storyline is also reflected on their product: if you go through their website, you will notice the helpful suggestions they give users to humanise the tone and language of the forms they build. As we can see, the powerful narrative they created is simultaneously supported by design, technology and a great communication strategy. And, most importantly, it mirrors company values that are relevant to the users.
Buffer Company Blog
Another company with a strong passion for storytelling is Buffer, which created a handy social media scheduling tool you might already be familiar with.
In their founding days, the company took inspiration for their values from the popular book by Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. Just like Typeform, Buffer is also integrating the notion of happiness on the workplace into their storytelling strategy. By actively involving employees and gathering insights from them, they manage to share personal and authentic stories through their company blog. One example is the emphasis they place on the subject of remote work — and rightly so, considering that Buffer team members are based in over 50 cities across 6 continents. Employees frequently contribute to the blog with articles containing tips and advice on other aspects of their work life as well. In this post on how to achieve a fulfilling and productive workflow, they explain in depth where pressure comes from these days, following up with an appealing and easily shareable image that summarises 5 practical tips. They then proceed to describe each of these tips, combining an effective marketing tactic (shareable visuals) with some truly meaningful insights.
Surprise! We don’t have a third example for you. We are actually looking for one and we want to hear from you.
Success is increasingly measured not only by financial return but also by the ability to engage with audiences in a creative manner. Are there any companies that attract you thanks to their core values? Are these values part of an interactive communication strategy, and how?
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