Stories are a hot topic in marketing because they have been shown to be superior to facts in getting attention, being remembered, changing opinions, stimulating social activity, developing emotion and, curiously, communicating facts. Many firms have added journalists, editors and filmmakers to their staffs to create or find meaningful stories and present them in a compelling way.
Stories often support tactical communication objectives. But there is also a strategic role for stories that is developed in an article by Jennifer Aaker and me entitled, “What Are Your Signature Stories?” in the spring 2016 issue of California Management Review.
We call such stories “signature stories” because they represent some form of strategic statement about a mission, values, the brand, customer relationship or strategic intent. Signature stories do this much better than a recitation of facts, which usually ends up sounding not only boring but similar to a host of other firms.