Storytelling in business is huge today. There’s a movement afoot to educate businesses both large and small on the virtues of utilizing a storytelling framework when considering marketing strategies for your business.
One of the hallmarks of any compelling story is the role of the hero. Obviously your business should play the role of the hero. Or perhaps a spokesperson you have created that represents your business. In the end, you’re the good guy.
A great villain can drive a storyline in ways most heroes simply cannot. Think of the great stories of your childhood, or your favorite books or movies. Nearly every one sets up a dramatic tension between the hero and villain. Here are some of my favorite villain/hero duos:
Each of these villains helped drive the storyline forward and helped define the characteristics of their heroes. A great villain can make even the most heinous character look heroic by comparison. Don’t overlook the role of the villain as you embark on your corporate storytelling efforts.
In a business context, a well-cast villain can serve several different purposes.
As you deploy a storytelling methodology (and even if you don’t), it is wise to have in mind a vision of your idea “villain.” As you think about potential villains your company battles, you have several options to choose from:
Whoever you have cast as the villain in your business storytelling adventure, be sure it is one you can defeat. We all know there are some great villains out there, but casting the wrong villain will simply confuse your customers and your employees.
How do you find great villains to rally your troops against? Ask! Ask your customers. Ask your employees. By simply asking, your nemesis will come into focus easily. It could be your primary villain is a big competitor or maybe it’s a process your product eliminates or reduces. Regardless of who/what it is, be sure to use your villain well in your storytelling and the rest of your marketing efforts.
So I leave you with one question… Who’s your Vader? Let me know in the comments below. I’m genuinely interested!
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