In 1999, consultants B. Joseph Pine and James Gilmore told us we had entered a new economy shaped by experiences. More recently, we keep hearing about the need for executives and the brands they oversee to become adept at storytelling.
Frank Rose, a journalist and senior fellow at the Columbia University school of the arts brings those two streams together in a call for us to learn the art of immersion,
as his book two years ago was titled, and tap into the thirst for experiences and stories among the consuming public.
Think in terms of stories and deepening them in ways that can be helpful to your customers, making your company feel part of their lives,” he said in an interview.
Managers, engineers and consultants like facts. And facts, he concedes, are useful. But he insists they are not as powerful as stories, which fit the way neuroscientists are finding that we think.
Becoming storytellers may seem foreign to executives – not the way they were taught to lead. But he says it’s actually how we experience life. We watch TV and read books. We watch sports, which are stories unfolding during the action on the field. At dinner parties, we swap stories.
But storytelling is only the first step in his immersion approach. Storytelling opens the door for individuals to connect with your brand. People want to merge their identity with something larger – to enter the world the story lives in, sharing and being defined by the story. And you must provide that.
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