Amazingly, a Disney executive delivered a talk at SIGGRAPH this week and claimed that storytelling no longer matters, its only the technology that people come out to see at the movies. http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/08/disney_exec_story.html This is an amazingly ignorant statement for a variety of different reasons-one simply because its not true, and two because the guy works at one of the companies who created the bar on what excellence in modern storytelling looks like.
In today’s technology laden world, storytelling becomes not less important, it becomes the most critical tool for eliciting any type of emotional connection with consumers. As brands today struggle with ways of attaining improved marketshare the paradigm of “telling it to win”, as touted in Peter Gruber’s best selling book of the same name, has never been more apparent.
As the age of democratized voice emerges-along with it comes an era of democratized choice. What this means for businesses across industry is a mandated shift from the product centric to the experience focused. As consumers become more empowered in their choices, and in their voice around the rationale for these preferences-commoditized product and service offerings become less important than the unique experiences and emotive responses that winning brands can elicit. The age of TEM or total experience management (a reversal from the legacy Total Quality Management or TQM era) ensues. The ability to produce quality offerings is a given. Procuring the capacity for innovative vision that purveys delight and culturally connective experiences is the new Holy Grail-and innovative and creatively inspired storytelling is paramount to success in this regard.
To win today, brands must recognize that at the heart of every great company is a message, and when well told, it becomes a story that can be shared and enjoyed by millions. That’s the truth-whether the magical kingdom agrees or not.