Oh, the humanity!

Two articles recently appeared on a subject near and dear to me. The articles—one in Adweek and one in Advertising Age—addressed the importance of storytelling in brand communications.

It seems that both writers agree that the Internet’s ever-increasing ability to incorporate new ways of communicating means that we’re in the midst of a golden age of storytelling. My question is: where are all the good stories?

Why do so many business brands substitute honest, emotional human stories with vanilla case studies? Or use technological doo-dads to overwhelm rather than communicate?

I want to connect with brands that have a similar worldview as I do. I want to deal with companies made up of real people, not faceless drones. I want the message to be more important than the medium.

I don’t want to hear about application challenges/solutions. I want to hear about Fred, the tireless software engineer who slept under his desk for a month because he wanted to solve exactly the same problem I face every single day.

I don’t want to rent office space from a big, fancy landlord. I want to rent from a team whose maintenance guy once missed his daughter’s birthday to help a tenant prepare their space for a big meeting. (Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh. Family time is important.)

It’s these simple, emotional stories that truly create lasting bonds between brands and customers. And no matter how the Internet evolves, it will be the ability to spin a good story—truly the world’s oldest form of communication—that will be more important than ever.

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