"Stories are the creative conversion of life itself into a more powerful, clearer, more meaningful experience.
They are the currency of human contact."
If the title Gentle Rogue didn't give it away, the barechested Fabio lookalike with his open puffy shirt and windblown golden locks grasping the rope that's falling mysteriously from the sky as he readies himself to carry off the buxom, raven-haired beauty before the oncoming tidal wave sweeps her out to sea should do the trick. This book is, indeed, not for me.
That fact is never really in question. The point is, Johanna Lindsey knows this book is not for me. It's not written for me. Nor is the cover illustrated with someone like me in mind either.
But the author does have a story to tell here. She knows her audience (and at sixty million books sold, it's a large one) and writes with intentionality to it. To assume that because something fails to make a connection with me, personally, that it fails in telling it's story powerfully, is missing the point. More than that...it may even be making a pretty strong case for just the opposite. A story, like a brand, is intended to capture, captivate and compel it's audience. The glistening pecs of our "Gentle Rogue" are not just to better carry away our heroine – they're to carry away the potential reader.
There has been a lot of thought here at Born to Design recently about how we can better communicate what we do to our audience of existing, new and potential clients. As we've worked through this process, the idea of storytelling really started rising to the top. Not by design, or because we thought that would be clever. The truth is, all marketing, design, advertising and communications efforts are, at their core, storytelling. And every brand is telling a story as well – some are just doing it better, more compellingly, and with greater strategic thinking and intentionality than others.
Our internal endeavors landed us here – a fresh answer to the question "So, what does Born to Design do?":
Our gifts lie in visual storytelling
that connects your audience to your brand.
I like it. But, as mentioned, it's not something new we created. It's simply a better telling of the story of what it is we were already doing.
Robert McKee (quoted above), knows a thing or two about storytelling (he's spent 30 years educating writers of all stripes in better storytelling). He states: "Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today." I would, perhaps, add the word "Good" to the beginning of that quote.
Sometimes it's easier to spot the ones getting it wrong, than it is the ones getting it right. For some time I've wanted to write about the gigantic missteps of Netflix this past year (and still may). The mistakes they made weren't in their marketing efforts (at least not directly), but they still told a story about the Netflix brand – one that actually undermined the story they wanted their audience to hear.
The lesson? It's not enough just to have a good story to tell.
The story needs told clearly, continually reinforced and protected from sabotage – even from the brand itself.