Story is King

by Alex Tillard

If you’ve ever watched a movie produced by Pixar, you know that the company’s number one priority is story. Other film companies can boast about their fancy computer graphics, film style, or even character development, but putting those things above story will make for a subpar film every time. And that’s why Pixar movies are some of the best animated films out there; they do have amazing graphics, beautiful cinematography style and lovable characters, but they always put story first.

Story connects us with people we’ve never met and places we’ve never been.

Have you ever read a history book full of names and dates and places, and promptly forgotten it all? Yeah, me too. But when I pick up a historical novel, it’s different. If I read an account in a dry history text book and then read the same information an engrossing historical novel, it’s the details from the novel I remember most vividly. When such information is framed in the context of characters with real feelings and struggles, I connect to it. When my emotions are brought out, and I can relate to characters and circumstances, I remember the details.

Story is memorable.

In marketing a business, a product, or an idea, the concept is the same. Telling a story about your brand is what will make people remember you, connect with you, and feel good about you and what you’re selling. Which brands do you remember most? The ones that tell a story that you as a customer can relate to. For example, as a woman, I was really drawn to buy Dove products when they used real women, of all sizes and body types in their advertising. It is a powerful narrative to tell, and I don’t even mind paying a little extra for Dove products.

Story is meaningful.

I hold many roles here at Navigate. As a writer and editor, I tell stories with words (thanks, Captain Obvious). But the way I knit those words together can elicit completely different feelings. Words matter. But so do visuals. As a graphic designer, I also tell stories through my art—whether it’s a logo, a layout or an illustration. A visual design can tell a story, evoking strong feelings in people. And the way those words and visuals play together can create feelings of anger, excitement, despair or joy.

Story is what we do.

At Navigate, we help our clients tell their stories. Telling a business or organization’s story can cover all kinds of subject material: their strategy, advertising, building and office design, even their dress code. Our team works together to craft a great story for each of our clients, and we really love doing it. We know that story is what makes the difference between being forgotten and being memorable.

So whether you’re focused on your building, business strategy, or brand revamp, remember this simple but powerful principle: Story is king.