Tuesday Tip: Stop bragging, start storytelling

By Chloe Mark | September 2016

"The Millennial generation will not sit there pretending to be interested in something they are not – and I admire that." This is just one of many quotable moments from a recent interview of Robert McKee. Content marketing and SaaS technology company, Skyword, sat down with this highly-regarded educator in brand storytelling. If his students can collectively receive 60 Oscars, 200 Emmys, and several other awards of this prestige, we can learn a thing or two from him for our marketing strategy this week.


The full interview is well-worth a read – Why Brand Storytelling Is the New Marketing. For now, review some of my favorite quotes so you can better understand what McKee means when he emphasizes the need for less bragging and more storytelling.

1. Stop bragging: "[Brand storytelling] has grown enormously. What do [these companies] do well? First, they stop bragging. They stop promising, and they tell story."

2. Listen to the needs of this generation: Millennials and Generation Z are "annoyed" by assertions like, "‘We’re the biggest, we’re the best, we’re the shiniest, we’re the newest, we’re better than the competition.’ They find those claims doubtful at best." 

3. Identify your audience & pull them in: "...then if you tell the story well, this protagonist, this core character, has within them some essential human quality that the audience recognizes and thinks, 'that is a human being like me.'"

4. Understand human nature: "They’ve got to think in terms of cause and effect in a human way, and they’ve got to think in-depth, since most of human life is subconscious and irrational and based upon needs and desires that rise up out of people in various contradictory ways. They’ve really got to understand human nature."

5. Get your audience to empathize: If you do this well, your "corporation comes alive, has a heart, and is out there on a mission."

6. Offer a solution: "If you dig into something, anything offers some sort of positive contribution to civilization. It cures some ill. It fixes some problem. It performs some kind of service."

7. Get them to act: "[W]hen [the story] climaxes, it has to trigger an action. It has to cause the consumer to think: Well, I’ve got to look into this. This could be the answer to my problem. This could improve my life."

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Topics: Tips and Tricks

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