Consistency Counts

When we last wrote, we argued that the business world’s contemporary focus on big data demands a concomitant attention to storytelling. Now that storytelling is de rigueur, we offer insight into its most important elements.
By noting that storytelling is the most effective way for a business to demonstrate its ethos to an audience, we join a chorus of singers belting out the same tune. Much has been written, but little has been explained. Just what makes a story good, and how do businesses craft good stories? 

We all intuitively recognize good stories: a good yarn piques our interest and engages us. A great story connects with us in a way that outlasts the story’s end. 

Consequently, crafting a great story requires establishing and sustaining connections that are meaningful enough to resonate with increasingly sophisticated readers. 

How are such connections forged? While identifying the right readers is certainly crucial, businesses must also offer readers consistent and consistently genuine insights into their brands.

Such insights depend, not surprisingly, on consistent language. While most businesses possess mission statements and mottoes, these rarely offer language that is flexible enough to be continuously generative.

A business must also be able to express:

  • A direct apprehension of its value.
  • A comprehensive vision of its product and service.
  • A recognition of the motivation that drives its staff.
  • A stone-cold identification of its clients.
  • An explicit desire to build relationships.

A thorough and precise accounting for these fundamentals allows businesses to build a glossary—what content strategists call message architecture—that can be used in different ways to speak to value, vision and motivation. 

Such a glossary is invaluable for consistently crafting really good stories. But just as important, it enables cohesive communications across the board, from internal emails and memos to external reports and presentations. It can also simplify connected cross-platform outreach, from business newsletters and websites to LinkedIn pages and Twitter handles.

If storytelling were only about entertainment, writing stories would be easy. However, a really good story—one that outlasts its ending—must do much more. To put it plainly, when it comes to storytelling, consistency counts.