Companies have to tell stories

by Eyes & Ears of Europe

Successful companies like Apple, Google, Tesla or Red Bull not only tell good stories, they live a good story. Stories are able to turn brands into myths. 

Storytelling is one of the most important forms of communication humanity has ever developed, says Prof. Dr. Michael Müller, head of the Institute for Applied Narration Research at the Stuttgart Media University

The reason for this is that people are "Storytelling Animals" (Gottschall). We think in stories, experience in stories and explain the world to ourselves with stories, says the storytelling expert, who has been supporting companies in internal and external communication for over 25 years. 

"Modern brain research and psychology are finding more and more evidence that stories are one of the central thought and communication formats," says Müller. "Storytelling and other narrative methods are becoming increasingly important, especially in a world in which digital media determine virtually every aspect of life." 

Since 2010, Müller has been teaching at the Stuttgart Media University, where he helped establish the Institute for Applied Narration Research. There he and his colleagues research the background and possibilities of narrative methods in companies and in the media. 

In his lecture at the event "Storytelling & KI - from Aristotle to Alexa", Müller wants to explain the background for the meaning of storytelling. In addition, the narration researcher will also explain what constitutes a good story and how other narrative methods, such as "storylistening" and "storydoing" work.

When Müller began to bring the term "storytelling" into companies in 1998, he often came across questioning faces. After all, the aim was not to tell fairy tales, but to convince the target group with their products and content. 

Today, however, the term is omnipresent and is increasingly being coined anew by technical innovations. However, an ever-increasing range of digital media is also making the battle for viewers' attention increasingly difficult. 

Good storytelling can generate attention and build brand loyalty, because good storytelling leads to the target group identifying better with the brand. 

Experience Prof. Dr. Michael Müller with his lecture "Storytelling & other narrative methods" at "Storytelling & KI - from Aristotle to Alexa" on May 15, 2019 at the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung in Cologne.