The New Art of Story Telling in a Post-Computer World

This post was originally featured on Racepoint Europe’s Comms Talk blog

If marketing is done right, then often the best product doesn’t win. A bold statement, but one that rang true when Larry Weber and Tom Hayes delivered their Master Class on the new art of story telling at the Silicon Valley Comes to Oxford event at the Saïd Business School yesterday.

Apple has created a religion through its marketing – however good Samsung’s devices are, who would want to be them right now? It’s hard to fight against a religion.

So how do you create this ‘brand religion’, with faithful disciples who will follow you pretty much anywhere you choose to take them? Not through computing, according to Larry and Tom.  We are now in the ‘fifth wave’ of computing – a brave new world of communication, where we have moved beyond the personal computer and even the multiple computing devices that defined the fourth wave.

The fifth wave represents the beginning of the end for the computer.  It is the era of the IoT, of Google Glass. Every company will have to become a software company, whether you are Coca Cola, Nike or IBM.

Large corporate websites are out of date and will soon become a thing of the past, collapsing under the weight of their own information. Your brand is now your story.  It is at the heart of your company and it is the inspiration and emotional fabric of everything you do.

So how do you tell the story of your brand? Social media I hear you cry.  Yes, but saying ‘I need a social media strategy’ is like saying ‘I need a pencil’.  It’s what you do with it that counts.  It’s all about controlling the debate through visual data; waging a crusade and leading with passionate ideas.

Look at the most successful companies out there at the moment.  Their followers have bought into their brand because they have summoned a moral imperative beyond product and profit.  You need to be heroic and stand by what you believe in.  Blackberry lost their story – they had the best product for the business user – but they lost it because they got scared by Apple.

To conclude, Larry and Tom’s five key points for successful brand storytelling in our ‘post computer world’ are:

  • Your brand is your story
  • Have a strong point of view
  • Shape the debate
  • Enlist others to join
  • Spark a movement to change the future


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