the HeART of STORY: Stories, How They Serve Organizations, Part 1

Today, there are huge developmental benefits that stories and storytelling deliver beyond unleashing creativity, using metaphors, and the philosophy that backs them. Yes, stories in storytelling are not just about people. They are also about nurturing the planet and pushing up the profits in business.

Stories help us connect with distant entities and cultures. Stories sustain and consistently enhance the levels of engagement within our own organizations, communities and cultures. Stories are the magical and metaphorical processes by which we can ethically influence our market and all our stakeholders in a creative manner.

Connect, Engage and Influence your World Creatively!

Stories Strengthen your Brand and Identity

Coca- Cola in the US, Tata Motors in India, and Jollibee in the Philippines are not just names and good products. They also have a very specific character and a whole personality attached to their names.

Utter the name of Coca-Cola and suddenly, the cognitive and perceptual screen in consumers’ minds explode with brilliant fireworks.  Phrases like “It’s the Real Thing, Coke Adds Life, Coke is it!” constantly pop into our heads. Beyond the immediate responses related to its, name there is also the assurance of quality, performance, and a unique dependability in all Coca-Cola products. This type of response and relationship with the consumer did not come about just recently. It came from an accumulation of thousands of experiences, emotions, and stories attached to the product and its partnership with people.

Coca-Cola is aware of this so it nurtures and protects this massive, intangible asset with the same ferociousness it applies in guarding its secret formula for producing the bubbly, cola drink. Coca-Cola knows this so it regularly fuels the fires that keep this relationship burning by creating new stories, new emotional attachments with its customers.

A few years ago, Coca- Cola churned up heart-warming emotions between India and Pakistan by putting up vending machines using 3D touch screen technology so that the peoples of these quarreling nations were able to see and mime and touch each other, virtually.

The history and relationship of these culturally similar countries and people is that from being one country, it was split in two more than sixty years ago. Many factions on both sides are still upset over the split that happened in 1947.  Each side is still unhappy about friends, memories, and homes that they left behind during what was called the “partition.”  They have fought several wars since then, quarreled over borders in the beautiful state of Kashmir, and blamed each other for cheating in sporting events.  Generally, their people are extremely suspicious of one other.  It was a gargantuan task for Coca-cola to bring together these two peoples into a life-sized, virtual interaction.

The campaign called Small World Machines provided a live communications portal linking strangers across the borders of India and Pakistan. First-of-its-kind 3D touchscreen technology projected a streaming video feed onto the vending machine screen while simultaneously filming through the unit to capture a live emotional exchange between people miles away from each other.

Jackie Jantos, former Global Creative Director of Coca-Cola, claimed that the idea of creating stories around shared experiences went back to its roots.  Coke started at a soda fountain which in itself is a communal experience. The India-Pakistan interaction might have been a virtual one but the emotions were real and open-hearted. The project not only endeared the Coca-Cola brand but also earned a lot of respect for Coke.

This is Part 1. Allow me a few days to upload Part 2. Enjoy!

Check Video on You Tube; the HeART of STORY

Download from Slideshare: the HeART of STORY