Storytelling is an ancient art. We all know that. It's an essential craft for a marketer trying to help a business grow. But why? As much as I've learned about storytelling -- in college, as a professional journalist and writer for a decade, as a published author of a children's book, and a devoted listener to my own Father's exceptional yarns -- I have never thought about storytelling in the way Yuval Noah Harari explains its importance in "Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind."
In his sweeping wrap-up of millions of years of Homo Sapiens drama, Harari explains that the ability to craft fiction and tell stories is what distinguished our species use of language from that of our ancestral human cousins. Storytelling is the tool that allowed Homo Sapiens to convince large bands of people to work together toward a common vision. Storytelling, it turns out, is how Sapiens came to rule the World. Harari supports this by drawing on highlights from anthropology, archaeology, sociology and history, and pulling it all together in a well-crafted narrative spanning 16 billion years!
But this blog post isn't a book review. Harari's message has implications for how to market and grow your business. A business, Harari, reminds us, is what the legal profession calls an "imagined reality." It's an entity recognized legally but not a real thing in the tangible way a person is. Our species evolved uniquely with the ability to think beyond ourselves and to imagine such fictions. Our love of a good story is actually coded into our DNA. And our desire to hear a story, to feel a connection or emotion that drives us to take action is strong. Every business has a story. And every business wants to move customers to action. What's your businesses story? How well are you telling it? Are you telling it to the right people? And how can IdeaBar help you?