Do you use storytelling to engage your customers? Are you and your products and services customer centric? If you answered yes to both questions, then the book, Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads Start Creating Worlds is for you!Storyscaping
The book is a game changer and will introduce you to ideas that will take some getting used to!
Below, you’ll find my summary and review of Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads Start Creating Worlds by Gaston Legorburu and Darren McColl.
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Initial Thoughts: Stop Creating Ads Start Creating Worlds
When I read the description for Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds by Gaston Legorburu and Darren McColl, I knew that I had to buy and read it. See the description below, tell me if you would read that book?
“Storytelling is the “new” advertising, and two top executives from SapientNitro explain their take on the subject in Storyscaping. The book outlines the philosophy and approach behind how to create brand worlds that become part of the consumer’s story.”
I have never worked in advertising, but the description intrigued me because one, there has been so much talk about telling your story, and two, creating worlds sounds like something from games, and I am very interested in gamification, so I was sold.
What is Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads Start Creating Worlds About?
After I read the book, I believed that the authors delivered on their promise, but I recommend that when you read Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds, you read it through once, and then the second time around, you focus on a chapter at a time, working on the exercises until you feel like you really understand what is required of you. If you are like me, who is someone not working in advertising, I think that’s the best way to go.
The authors define storyscaping as a:
“landscape of emotional and transactional experiences, where each connection inspires engagement with another, so the brand becomes part of the consumer’s story…Storyscaping is based on the principle that we are trying to effectively connect organizations (brands) with people (consumers).”
There are many case studies in the book. But I kept on asking myself, how does this apply to The Invisible Mentor? And I did that a lot. For me, the book is a game changer. And I have to read certain sections again, so I can fully grasp the concept of creating a storyscape.
A storyscape is a part of the hero’s journey, but the interpretation is somewhat different from what you are accustomed to. In the original idea of the hero’s journey, you are called to go on a quest, and you can accept or decline the quest. If you take up the call to go on the journey, you will face many challenges along the way, and there are often people, your mentors, who assist you in overcoming the challenges. You end up growing and becoming more as a result of going on the journey. In this story, you are the hero.
Not so with storyscaping. In this instance, the customer is the hero, the brand is the mentor, and your products and services are gifts that solve the consumers’ problems. Our hero, the customer, has emotional desires and is therefore on a quest to satisfy those desires, and the brand, the mentor, through its Purpose, aligns itself to the hero’s desire.
“The hero travels a path of behaviors to solve his or her quest. Along that path the mentor helps the hero by providing a magical gift (product or service) that satisfies the hero’s desires and creates a shared journey (experience).”
This is a new way of thinking, and will take some getting used to. As I was reading Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds, I kept on trying to figure out how the book relates to my situation.
When I reflected on this, I realized that most of us have been doing it wrong, because in the story, we make ourselves the hero. While reading the book, I realized that I have to completely change my About page, because if I am being objective, the story would not resonate with most. The point of storyscaping, is having people connecting to your brand, and what it stands for. Most businesses would love it if what their brand stood for resonated with their prospective clients, but that’s not always the case, your story may simply be just that – YOUR STORY.
We are told time-and-time again that telling stories is very powerful, and I believed it, until I read Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds. Telling a story is not enough, because when you tell a story, it is your story, and it may or may resonate with others. Storyscaping changes that because you instead creating an immersive experience where others feel connected to your brand. What the book does is teach you how to do exactly that.
In storyscaping, you have to know what the organization’s true purpose is. In the context of storyscaping, to find the organization’s Purpose, start with asking Why. That means it defines the premise of the brand, how the brand acts and what it does – think, act and share. So everything the organization does, should come out of its Purpose – are you in alignment with beliefs? Act is about how you deliver your service and products, and share is communicating, interacting and listening. When the brand thinks, shares and acts from its Purpose, it connects emotionally to the consumer.
In my opinion, creating a storyscape is a very involved process, and it took a lot of concentration to grasp what the authors are telling me. It’s all about a Story System, and I got it when Gaston Legorburu and Darren McColl say that it is a series of stories. For anyone who has read The Arabian Nights: Tales from a Thousand and One Nights (Modern Library Classics) translated by Richard Francis Burton, you will understand this idea because the book is a series of stories within a story. Each story in Arabian Nights is its own story, but it also serves the bigger story.
To create a great storyscape, you have to combine great narrative, immersive experiences, and lots of systems thinking.
Five Big Ideas from Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads Start Creating Worlds
- It’s more than telling a story, it’s about making a connection.
- Create an immersive experience so that your consumers want to relive it.
- Pay attention to consumer technological evolution if you want to predict behavior.
- Functional needs are solved with products and services that represent the means by which consumers define their story.
- A shared experience comes from a satisfied need or a problem solved by a company’s products or services.
Questions to Ponder
- Does your brand behave like a mentor?
- How can your brand improve people’s lives?
- How can you frame your work within a meaningful business context? How does what you do address your customer’s problem?
- How can you create a world where immersive experiences connect people with your brand?
In the chapter, Walk the Walk, I took a stab at writing a story line for The Invisible Mentor 2015 Challenge based on the exercise in the book. Here goes and let me know your thoughts:
“On the hero’s journey, to remain relevant in the workplace, we, as invisible mentors, have created The Invisible Mentor 2015 Reading Challenge, providing a gift of continuous learning that magically enables you to discover ideas and solutions, thereby creating a journey that allows you to become more valuable to yourself.”
The statement needs more work, but it is helping to shape my thinking around the Reading Challenge.
Should You Buy Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads Start Creating Worlds?
Storyscaping: Stop Creating Ads, Start Creating Worlds by Gaston Legorburu and Darren McColl is among the best books I read in 2014. And interestingly enough, I only learned about it during the last two months of the year.