Many marketers (myself included) talk quite a bit about storytelling. We say it empowers you to connect with your audience, and it’s the key to building deep, lasting relationships with them.
But the word storytelling is broad and, in my humble opinion, often misunderstood in a marketing context.
When I talk about brand storytelling, I’m not talking about telling the story of your brand. Counterintuitive, non? But there's a reason for that. Frankly, your audience doesn’t need your whole life story.
Aristotle was a busy guy who was passionate about many things, but his love of theater and storytelling was noteworthy. He is considered the first theoretician of theater, and his Poetics offers a framework for understanding theatrical storytelling.
In Poetics, Aristotle outlines the six key elements of tragedy: plot, character, thought, diction, melody, and spectacle.
Aristotle’s elements of tragedy continue to influence storytelling today. And by examining the aspects Aristotle identified as critical in crafting a compelling drama, modern marketers might unearth new, creative ways of sharing their brands’ stories.
Let’s walk through the six elements and consider how they come into play in a modern marketing context.