What is a narrative?
In the picture above, you see me sitting in front of a weight rack with one hundred and forty-five-pound dumbells.
After I took the pic, I sent it to my Dad. He thought that I was lifting them. I had a good chuckle. There’s no way I was lifting these things, but I could see why he would think that. I mean, after all, I AM sitting in front of the dumbells.
This is what people do: They see a picture, they have a frame, and then proceed to fill in the details with their minds. Our job as marketers is to help people fill in the details by providing them the context of the narrative; the where, the how, and the who.
What’s also important is that we understand how the details relate to the person putting together the narrative. What are their beliefs? What are their thoughts, their mental models? If we can match all these things up (the context and the person’s beliefs), we have a story that’s believable, powerful, and human.
Does the narrative we create have to be true? No. It just has to be believable. The truth can help, but seeing is believing.