Jonah Sachs, author of Winning The Story Wars: why those who tell - and live - the best stories will rule the future, discusses empowerment marketing versus inadequacy marketing.
When he understood Maslow's hierarchy of needs, he knew he had discovered the foundation for a powerful alternative to inadequacy marketing. He looked at needs as values (as Maslow often referred to them) and selected some core values for empowerment based storytelling strategies.
Sachs recommends writing a list of values and choosing your top 3, identifying the characteristics of your brand hero, uncovering your mentor archetype, defining your brand gift and explaining the moral of your story.
I recommend you read his magnificent book. I was delighted by the illustrations of the archetypes and if you're anything like me, I think you will be delighted too.
Here are some definitions to get you started.
Sachs recommends seeing members of your target audience as heroes in the making and the stars of your stories. This is where you need to inspire and empower rather than promote messages of inadequacy or "not having or being enough."
Defining your brand mentor will help you craft a consistent voice and unique brand feel.
This is what makes your brand hero believe she can pursue her higher-level values through a relationship with your brand.
Moral of the story
The moral is the core message that underlies every story you tell. It provides meaning and consistency in your communications.
The brand boon is the contribution to the world that your brand hero will ultimately make. (Empowerment marketing inspires its heroes to make the world a better place and fulfil their own dreams).
Sachs found the following values most useful for empowerment based storytelling strategies:
• Simplicity: the need to understand the underlying essence of things;
• Richness: the need to examine life in all of its complexity and diversity, to seek new experience and overcome prejudice;
• Justice: the need to live by high moral values and to see the world ordered by morality, to overthrow tyranny;
• Perfection: the need to seek mastery of skill or vocation, often through hard work or struggle;
• Wholeness: the need to feel sufficient as an individual and connected to others as part of something larger, to move beyond self-interest;
• Beauty: the need to experience and create aesthetic pleasure;
• Truth: the need to experience and express reality without distortion, to tear down falsehood;
• Uniqueness: the need to express personal gifts, creativity and nonconformity;
• Playfulness: the need for joyful experience.
Sachs developed some brand mentor archetypes to help us uncover an archetype that is how audiences see us when we're at our best. Each archetype embodies certain values and will represent elements of your personality that audiences will connect with. However they won't reveal everything about your personality and brand.
The archetypes are: the pioneer, the rebel, the magician, the jester, the captain, the defender, the muse, the architect, the alchemist, the oracle and the healer. You will need to read the book for definitions of these archetypes. However some readers in Australia may be familiar with the captain. Our former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott often referred to himself as the captain making captain's picks.
I am the muse for coaches and entrepreneurs who struggle with writing. I want to inspire and empower you to share your gifts with the world. My core values are uniqueness, truth, beauty and playfulness. The moral of my story is you will feel unfulfilled and exhausted, if you do not share your gifts with the world. My brand gift is emotional and creative freedom, possibly financial freedom.
Summary and Conclusion
In Part 1, I gave you a lesson I learned from Lady Gaga and that is you can stand out with a unique name, outrageous outfits and hairstyles and build a tribe of followers, but you better be able to perform Poker Face.
I discussed the importance of sharing your story using Rihanna's story as an example. Rihanna shared her story of domestic violence in 2009 and now she is a rock superstar and fashion icon.
I discussed the importance of identifying your target audience before you tell your story; the 5 key questions your audience wants to know and the importance of choosing your title, so your audience knows who you are and how you can help them.
In Part 2, I gave you the formula for clearly articulating your value and discussed how you need to stand out with your story and unique style like successful entrepreneurs Kimra Luna, Leonie Dawson, Sandi Krakowski and Marie Forleo.
Now in Part 3, I recommend you define your values, identify the characteristics of your brand hero, uncover your mentor archetype, define your brand gift and explain the moral of your story.
Which archetype are you?
I have developed a questionnaire based on my research of The Hero's Journey that will help you tell your story. You can get this questionnaire when you sign up for my About Me Page Written by a Pro. You can then tell your story on your website, in interviews, videos and podcasts.