What is storydoing? How are brand’s using it to their advantage? Storydoing is about exceeding the expectations of your audience and delivering fresh content to their doorstep. We talk to Dan Gregory about his role at the Impossible Institute and how brands are using ‘storydoing’ to engage their audiences.
Hear Dan’s story and how you can use storydoing to your brand’s advantage.
Rakhal: So, do you think people are getting smarter? If so, what can brands do to be more human?
Dan Gregory: That’s a really good question. Are people getting smarter? I don’t think they’re getting smarter, I think they’re getting more cynical. I think they’re getting more connected than they’ve ever been before. That gives them a level of power that kind of holds organisations that they interact with more accountable. But, I think what we’re seeing – and you kind of alluded to it earlier – is this idea of organizations having to be more human in their interactions, and having to be more human in their language.
One of the things I talked about earlier was when we were working with the U.N on reducing human trafficking in the region of Singapore. Part of the thing that we did was we got them to change the language that they used. We said, “Let’s stop calling it human trafficking. Let’s call it slavery. That’s far more human. Far more damning.” One of those things is it creates a greater importance for change. The more we use weasel words, or the more we use jargon and use language that dehumanizes or depersonalizes interactions, it also dehumanizes our behaviors as a result. Inhuman or nonhuman language leads to nonhuman behavior.
If we think about human trafficking as actually slavery, if we stop calling it Singapore’s sex industry and refer to it as organized kidnapping and rape, all of a sudden we find that changes the way we interact with it. My business partner Kieran Flanagan talks about the need to rehumanize our language in everything that we do, and she will just rattle off a five-minute speech using nothing but jargon. What you realize is how often we use these words that are just meaningless and depersonalized, and how that actually gets away from connecting to people.
We’ve trained people to be very much to deliver against the letter of the job description, as opposed to giving them a little bit of autonomy, a little bit of engagement, a little bit of freedom to actually deal with customers in a really human way. I think that’s really what’s had us come undone a little bit. I think this idea of being very automated and robotic in the way that we deal with people, that made sense in a post-industrial revolution model of business. In the 20th century. But, in a post-digital revolution, we’re in a very different space. People can now interact with us. It’s no longer one-way communication, it’s multi-faceted, multi-directional conversation, with different stakeholders having different agendas.
Actually, our ability to interact with people in a really human way, and to almost become the directors of stories and content that we’re not solely producing ourselves, that’s where the game is shifting to. If you think about an organisation like TripAdvisor, they’re the most powerful travel company in the world. They actually really don’t produce anything themselves. They curate and support other people’s conversations and other people’s stories.
Dan Gregory is the CEO at The Impossible Institute and has held numerous roles as a creative director. Dan has also appeared on the ABC’s The Gruen Transfer as a guest panelist.