Once upon a time….

What’s some of your best memories from your childhood?

Is it a favourite book that your parents used to read to you, or maybe it’s booting up a role-playing computer game for the very first time, or was it something as simple as sitting with your grandfather, looking up at someone so old, totally unable to imagine that he was once your age, and asking him to tell you a story?

Why did we enjoy those things? And why do we remember them fondly?

The answer may well lay with the mystery that was involved in each of these activities. When embarking on a journey, you don’t know the end, it’s not all predictable, it’s not laid out plain as day, you have to do some work – even if it’s just sitting there listening – to find out what happens next.

As humans we enjoy mystery, we actively seek it out, we look to find answers wherever we can, that’s why, for example, people climb to the highest peaks, dive to the deepest depths, and peer into microscopes for years on end. It’s just to see what’s there.

And it’s stories and mysteries that brands and companies should look at, at one point or another, look into developing. As marketers it is our job to invoke emotions within people, engage them – not interrupt them, and encourage them to find out more. Where you can start telling a story, and how can you use it during the average life-cycle of your customers?

If the story is good enough, they may just stay for a longer amount of time, they may share the story with others, and they may, if you’re particularly effective, buy a sequel.

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