The same or completely different
Most people have already heard of storytelling. In the marketing world, it’s about telling a story about the product to be marketed in order to inspire and inform the potential customer. Of course, our trainee had heard about this, too. She was all the more surprised when the customer suddenly turned to the assembled employees and announced that his main concern would be story doing.
This was followed by confusion on the part of the trainee. Storydoing? Was that just another term for story telling? Did she hear wrong? Did the client mean story telling but had confused the term? At the end of the meeting, the research followed and this is what she found out:
Storytelling vs. storydoing: Definition and differences
The difference between storytelling and storydoing lies in active participation. While story telling is just telling a story, story doing focuses on making sure that this story is lived by the company. It is not just entertainment, but requires active participation, with the story being at the heart of the company and built into all services and products. To this end, there is now even an overview of 6 essential factors that distinguish story doing from storytelling:
- There is a story
- The story has goals that go beyond commercial ambitions
- A clear “opponent” is defined in the story
- The story is used to take action within the company
- A few iconic, transformative actions have been defined on which the company focuses
- People outside the company take part in history
Differences can also be observed in terms of success. “Storydoing companies” generally achieve greater success than classic “storytelling companies”, especially in the area of social media. But does this mean that companies should switch completely to storydoing? It can’t be said that directly, because story doing is only one part of storytelling: without a story behind the plot, it is useless and not effective. First of all, a brand story has to be created on the basis of which the action is then taken. Thus, story doing can be done without story telling.
Storydoing is about actively living the told story
The real problem is that many companies are already successful in storytelling, but do not actively live their story and do not integrate it into their daily business. If a company lives the story it presents to the outside world, it creates a holistic image in which customers and partners can trust.
However, there is still the question of how to do story doing successfully. Initially, it doesn’t matter how big or how small the actions become in the end. You should be able to answer the following questions:
- What is our company history?
- What is our overriding goal compared to our commercial goals?
- What/whom is our “opponent”?
- Are there any innovations (events, corporate culture, business model)?
If you have found answers to all these questions, you should consider whether these answers are also reflected in the products, services, your own corporate identity, skills and corporate culture. If this is the case, then you are actually almost in the process of practising successful story doing.
Storydoing: Encouraging target groups to actively participate
In a second step, the relevant target groups must be encouraged to actively participate in the chosen message. To do this, the company must be clear on which channels its target group is most active and how they prefer to communicate. In addition, the company’s own message should also deal with a topic that is of interest to the target group and is related to its own product. Because no matter how good the story is, if it has nothing to do with the own product, it is implausible and without any connection.
When the interests and needs of the customer have been addressed, you put the core elements of your insight story together. This must be followed by social actions that implement this Insight Story. For example, one should not only talk about environmental protection, but actively organize events, such as collecting rubbish together on the local beach. The size of the event does not matter. For example, even a company that stands for family friendliness can organize a small family party on its own premises. It is important to animate the target group to participate and to use new innovative forms of presentation. If you manage to make your company live the story, then you have managed to implement story doing.