Characters make the story

What makes fiction so compelling and immersive? It’s the elements of a story: character, setting, conflict, plot and theme. How can we use this to tell a story with our marketing?

More than anything, we should make an effort to focus on characters. People are most often the backbone of any brand or company, so it makes sense to focus on those people. When focusing on these characters, every element of storytelling that you add will make your content captivating. Where did they start and where are they now (plot)? Did they overcome any hardships (conflict)? Where does their story take place (setting)? What does it mean and how does it relate to us (theme)?

misty-schaffer

If you don’t know who this is, she’s Jennifer Hudson. I didn’t know, either.

A good example of storytelling always comes from weight-loss and fitness brands. Brands like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem are always trotting out a spokesperson with a great story, overcoming adversity and depression to lose weight and feel good about themselves again. Fitness brands like Insanity and P90X (both owned by Beach Body) will trot out the before-and-after images of normal middle-aged folks who worked out and became super strong and fast.

You can also focus on the characters that work for your brand. Employees winning awards and working in the community are two examples of content that resonate with many audiences.

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One thought on “Characters make the story

  1. Absolutely agree Adam! I think the need for great characters comes from our need to relate to others. When a brand utilizes a person (be it real or created) that the target can relate to, they’re far more apt to appreciate and support the brand’s efforts.

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