Have you ever noticed that almost all the stories in movies and books follow the same structure? This is the so-called hero’s journey.
It was already described by the American mythologist Joseph Campbell (1904-1987). Several movies are based on this principle, such as Star Wars, especially with the journey of Luke Skywalker. Now, I'm definitely not a Star Wars fan, but you can spot this pattern in almost every movie. Do you know Harry Potter or The Lion King (for the kids among us)?
Campbell, in his book “The Hero’s Journey,” described the 17 steps the hero has to go through in the story as early as 1949. Don't worry, I’ll leave you to look up these 17 steps yourself.
But before you think, come on Björn, get to the point and tell me what this has to do with marketing – please hold on for a moment and just keep reading! It’s worth it.
As we know, every model is constantly evolving and so there are similar or more advanced models to the one just presented by Christopher Vogler or Blake Snyder. But really, all models can be summarized and reduced to 4 essential elements:
1. There is a figure.
2. There is a problem.
3. There is a journey.
4. A goal is reached.
This has already been summed up by Russel Branson, the founder of Clickfunnels. But the exciting thing is that it’s not really about the goal. It’s really about the transformation of the character and his heroic journey.
Let me show you a few more examples: Rocky didn’t win the title fight against Apollo Creek in the first part, did he? One more, my favorite: Lightning McQueen from Cars didn’t win the Piston Cup either. Although these were the intended goals for both, neither ended up winning. But in both cases, the transformation (journey) of Rocky and of Lightning into better characters is the real goal. And that’s exactly what the audience wants to see.
And now it's time for me to get to the point: This model not only applies to characters, but also to your business.
Every entrepreneur has identified a problem and developed a solution for it. Based on this, a company was usually founded and launched on the market.
But usually, except the founder or a selected few, nobody knows this story! Or rather, this story is never addressed.
We all know that we can only sell through emotions and that rational facts should back up these emotions. But unfortunately, these days, most companies are more like a physical address without a face on a concrete facade.
Every company has a story – it just needs to be told correctly to generate emotions and thus inspire customers.
As I mentioned before, it doesn’t matter whether the intended goal was achieved or not. We all prefer to watch and participate in how the company develops. This not only includes the successes, but also the defeats experienced on the way to the top.
Why do you think telenovelas are so popular? Because there are people whose ascent or descent you can accompany. We want to witness the transformation of this person.
And that is precisely what a company needs to do as well. Only once it tells its story will it become approachable. This is how it builds fans and followers who will follow the company wherever it goes.
Apple, for example, once was at the top and fell dramatically from its throne before Steve Jobs returned and brought the company back to the top and manifested it there. Tesla has really already been sold to Google, or to stay on the topic of Elon Musk: How many times have his SpaceX rockets failed? Nike has struggled with cash flow problems for decades...
All this makes a company. All of this gives a company character. All of this gives a company a story worth telling, in order to evoke emotions and be more than just a physical address.
Good luck telling your story!
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See you soon.