Used and abused, the term “storytelling” has become an accepted and overused buzzword, that suggests a painful lack of imagination. It seems that everyone wants to be a storyteller — but not everyone is a GOOD storyteller. Although it has been elevated to near sacred in the marketing world, the truth is, storytelling has become meaningless because it means many different things to many different people, which is why it’s so easy to hide behind it. From a branding perspective, how can we get away from a systematic storytelling approach which has run out of steam?
So what’s the alternative? In order to approach branding differently, we have to start by letting go of the age-old perspective of the power of stories and storytelling. Don’t get me wrong; I am not saying storytelling is never relevant. I am saying that it isn’t the only answer when it comes to shaping brands. Nowadays, digital media and information overload make it very hard for stories to be as compelling as they once were. The world is changing fast, and, brands need to adapt. It is time to get over branded content, and storytelling because 2021 will be all about crafting brand narratives. “But isn’t narrative just another word for story,” you ask? Well, maybe they are not so similar to what we would think.
Branding: The End of Storytelling
The role of designers isn’t solely to create a solution, especially because often there is not even a problem. One of the responsibilities of designers is, nevertheless, to question the behaviour they will trigger - or the behaviour they have created. Questioning first, then (maybe) doing. Maybe we should have been a little more critical before launching thousands of self-tracking apps that are stealing away our data, our altruism and our empathy. In this article I will question the designer’s role when it comes to behavioural design.