2013: The Year of the Story
10.11.12 · Ashley Bowen Cook
Technological and social changes give us unprecedented control over marketing content. It warrants extra thought concerning what form that content should take. How to give it impact and make it memorable.
Stories. That’s the short answer. But like most short answers, there’s more to it.
Facts leave us cold. Stories engage. Information drops away like leaves in the fall. A good narrative sticks around like a mid-winter snowfall. An exceptional tale forces its way out and makes you recount it to everyone who’ll listen.
The more marketing tells stories rather than spews facts or brags about your prowess, the more people pay attention. And remember. Maybe even care.
Create a Narrative
One illustrative story. At Greteman Group, we’ve been creating memorable brands for companies and organizations for more than two decades, and we gave a great deal of thought to our own aviation-focused brand. But we realized that we weren’t telling a story. Enter GiGi (GG for Greteman Group).
The globe-trotting, critical-thinking GiGi Galore stands out. She’s fun and a bit edgy. If she tells you our marketing has legs, you’re likely to remember that. And she has a story of her own. She favors ’60s-era flight attendant outfits, and she loves to fly. She speaks five languages and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in international business. GiGi skydives, skis and generally likes to shake things up. Just like us (well, the shaking things up part, anyway). GiGi personifies first-class, how-may-I-help-you service.
The moral of this story: we have a solid, well-thought-out brand. It does exactly what we need it to do. Now, with the addition of GiGi, visitors to our website are much more likely to come away with a narrative in their heads about our company, positioning and capabilities.
Watch GiGi take flight. Check out this short, fast-action video on the making of GiGi. Mix a drop-dead gorgeous model, great art direction and videography. Voilà! A marketing maven you won’t forget. http://youtu.be/kMITlhtUz9w
Look to the Stars
Back in the day, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and other bright lights gave Learjet an unsolicited narrative and the aircraft became synonymous with the jet set. Today Bombardier leverages this built-in advantage with stories about today’s movers and shakers – such as Novak Djokovic and Keith Urban – who rely on these sleek, powerful aircraft. When you mount the airstairs of a Learjet, you’re not just boarding a jet, you’re becoming part of the legend.
Sikorsky has been charting a winner for the past couple of years with its Legacy of Heroes Tour. Founder Igor Sikorsky – who is as closely associated with the helicopter as Bill Lear is with the private jet – knew that his invention would greatly improve lifesaving efforts around the world. In a brilliant stroke of public relations and narrative power, the Heroes tour has been circling the globe, celebrating everyday heroes wherever it goes. Beats the heck out of talking about cubic-feet cabin capacity or engine thrust.
Each of these stories represent journeys rather than moments in time. They are unique as well as particularly relevant to their respective target markets. Aviation-related companies have a distinct advantage, because aviation has a rich, well-documented history. You have a story, too. One that endures even as your product evolves. Find it, make it personal and meaningful, and tell it to the world.
*This article originally appeared in the October 11 issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.