I recently read Yossi Klein Halevi’s “Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor“ a book I highly recommend for those interested in learning more about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. It offers hope and a path to a possible peace. BUT don’t worry, this post is NOT about politics, it’s about an idea in the book, that of competing narratives, which comes from political science, but has great applicability to marketing.
Halevi’s book proposes that there are two competing but valid narratives on the two sides of the conflict, and that we can only get to peace if each sides at a minimum listens and recognizes the validity of the others narratives.
OK, so what does this have to do with Marketing? Jyoti Bansal, founder of AppDynamics, said in a recent article on Entrepreneur.com
Turning your idea into a story — one that identifies the need, why it’s imminently important to solve it, why you have the winning solution and why you’re the person to bet on, is key to setting your company up for success.https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/315373
In other words, the best narrative wins. Markets are competitions of ideas. Ideas must be put into communications, as Jyoti notes, story is one of the most effective forms of communications, because stories change how we think and act.
Winning market narratives have 2 key characteristics. First, they align with the customer’s strategic needs, wants and view of the world. Second, they are executed with excellence and skill. This is NOT a low bar, but when our narrative is aligned and executed well, it can win the battle of narratives in the marketplace. My narrative framework, the Viewpoint Story, helps you tell your winning “Golden Story” , because it does 2 things well. It aligns your story with your audience’s world view AND it uses the powerful and proven storytelling framework of the Hero’s Journey to build it.
Unlike in political science, where we must reconcile narrative to achieve our objective, peace; in competitive markets the leaders gets the spoils, it’s not a game of reconciliation, it’s a game to win. And a winning narrative which is aligned and well executed is key to winning the game.