Generating the attention of an audience and solidifying your brand’s narrative is like a battle: it requires vision and strategy to win the hearts and minds of your audience, and it takes the narrative power of storytelling to build your brand’s legacy. Many of the companies, organizations, and marketing campaigns that became legendary reached those Olympian heights by utilizing stories that resonated with their audiences.
Writing with a savvy wit and engaging energy, Jonah Sachs proves himself to be an excellent storyteller, using examples ranging from the movie “The Matrix” to the Occupy Wall Street social movement. “Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future” includes exercises that help the reader to discover more about marketing techniques that work by crafting a myth that is more than mere entertainment and a means to an end, but formed to foster a larger alliance, creating a social movement that helps the reader on the path to the hero’s journey.
If psychiatrist Carl Jung, who wrote of the power of archetypes, and Marshall McLuhan, who authored the expressions “the medium is the message” and the “global village,” and who envisioned the World Wide Web decades before it arrived, and “The Hero’s Journey” author Joseph Campbell had a love child, it would be Jonah Sachs.
Win the Story Wars
Never before has it been so easy to get access to the media to attempt to win the war of marketing. But that ease means that there is a great battle for the hearts and minds and eyeballs of audiences, consumers, fans, and would-be fans. When it comes to marketing, to quote Charles Dickens, who was himself a master storyteller of his age, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief…”
Sachs leads us into the marketing wars by employing examples, insights, and stories culled from advertising, myth, and psychology. He shares theories such as the re-transcendence of the oral tradition, how storytelling is informing and animating social media and marketing, and the primacy of mythology as one of the driving mechanisms of a brand’s message.
The Art of Marketing and Myth Making
Great thinkers have always used the power of story to sway, convince, lead, and persuade. Sachs shares the principle that media makers and marketers are our contemporary myth makers. Successful marketers gift audiences with explanations and examples that demystify and make sense of the world, and that generates authentic meaning for the audience. For example, Nike’s Just Do It campaign champions excellence and hard work instead of merely trying to sell athletic shoes; we yearn for the footwear as well as the myth.
Evangelists Make the Best Story Tellers!
Fans and evangelists are necessary for the creation of contemporary legend and current marketing success stories. “Winning the Story Wars” shows how brands and their fan base work in tandem to generate a story, meaning, and form partnerships for building not only a brand and forming consumer alliance, but to make the world a better place. “Winning the Story Wars” is a clarion call for the creation of alliances based on transparency, values, and community, and it will inform the way companies and crusades are conducted and how they are won.
Homo sapiens is distinguished by our opposable thumbs and our ability to generate stories. Sharing the marketers’ “dark arts” and “deadly sins,” Sachs gives suggestions on how to transcend the history of the past 100 years of marketing. Readers will learn how to move on to winning the story wars by transforming audience members into evangelists and guiding them in the creation of a myth where they can envision themselves as the narrative’s hero.
Create a Legend and Inspire Heroes
Marketing is successful when brands shift beyond simply trying to spark a need or want in individuals to inspiring their evangelists to share in their storytelling and the myth-making. Like all classic archetypes of the hero’s journey, the protagonist reaches the end of his or her account when he/she takes responsibility for actions, overcomes great obstacles, and emerges triumphant–after being tempered in the fire of experience–with the treasure. A treasure that the hero shares to elevate the community. The marketer is the myth-maker who inspires through the creation of the story, elevating and encouraging the evangelist.
Story, the Best Brands, and Happy Endings
Evangelists have taken up the cause in celebrating “Winning the Story Wars,” and reviews on Amazon.com and elsewhere have been stellar. An excerpt from one Amazon.com reviewer summed up the experience: “Sachs’ book gives you a jumpstart by helping you understand what storytelling is and tips for creating your own great stories. He weaves in invaluable pointers and how-tos on getting it done.”
Companies, entrepreneurs, and individuals have been empowered and enriched by the ideas in Sachs’ work and the vision that through marketing wielded as a tool for social change people can find their community and construct their story. When brands employ the power of myth, they are exercising advocacy, community, and human values in their marketing campaigns, corporate culture, and unique narratives. This gives brands, entrepreneurs, and individuals the authority to successfully share their unique stories with their audiences.
About the Author
Jonah Sachs is the author of “Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell (and Live) the Best Stories Will Rule the Future” and “Unsafe Thinking: How to be Nimble and Bold When You Need It Most.” Sachs is also a noted public speaker, expert marketing visionary, and a master storyteller who deconstructs, decodes, and demystifies our contemporary cultural landscape.