OK, that’s hardly a new point of view, although you’d be excused for thinking so as it’s recently gained new cache through the wise words of Tom Peters, IBM’s Jon Iwata, Tom Foremski, Levi’s jeans, and many others.
The Storytelling Matrix, however, takes the science of storytelling to new levels of sophistication and complexity. Ready to find out how deep the rabbit hole goes?
Here at Post-Advertising, we’re thrilled to see these validations of our own work, and always intrigued by the new directions that new thinking can open up. But we also, unfortunately, see all too many examples of the concept of storytelling taken only as far as the most basic level of simply conveying the origin story of a brand.
While the substance of your story is certainly a brand’s most pressing concern, how that story is told is almost as crucial. A key tool we use at Story Worldwide is something we call the Storytelling Matrix — a basic framework that plots any brand’s narrative executions along three axes (Activity, Complexity, and Personality). As this simple video explains, these points are used to measure and then maximize meaningful interaction among different target audiences, who logically respond differently to different storytelling methods.
The Activity axis illustrates how linear or interactive a particular story is, expressing a range from purely broadcasted printed magazines or cinematic experiences all the way to full-blown video games where the user controls every aspect of the story. The Complexity axis illustrates how much information is contained in the story: Is it pure entertainment, or is it a more densely-packed scholarly approach to the subject matter? The Personality axis addresses the audience: Is it a single mass-produced story, or is it tailored and customized to different groups or even each individual? At Story, we use this model to spin original, focused storytelling for specific audiences in various media. Try it on your own favorite brand messaging and let us know what you think — does it engage the target at the right points? Does it succeed in moving the brand messaging from one point to another to attract new audiences? Does math make your brain hurt? (Yeah, us too.)