Striking a Universal Chord in Storytelling: Part Two

Tuning Fork and Piano

This is part two of a blog series on the art of using the “5 Human Universals” presented by Donald Brown in marketing and storytelling. You might want to review the introduction and part one of this series.

In the last blog we looked at the universal fear of death and the innate need for “security” that is at work in each one of us and drives our decisions at an unconscious level. This next couplet fleshes out this idea even more. Here we find the fear of “the outsider.” The outsider can be seen as the person we do not know, but probably even more so the “group” that we do not know.

Some of you resonate with this immediately and can think of everyday situations where meeting new people is difficult and you must “push the button” (to use good MBTI verbiage) and move outside your comfort zone to interact with others. Others of you resist this concept and scream, “I love meeting new people and have never met a stranger.”

Once again, we need to look past the fear and see what is driving that root emotion. Here the driver is community. Our innate desire for community (not virtual community, but authentic, “This is me, will you love me despite my flaws?” type of community) is what fuels the fear of the outsider. Here the introvert might cry “foul,” but no matter your level of comfortability with large groups of people, deep down we all have a desire to be known and accepted by a community of others, no matter how small.

Though we may be open to meeting new people and enjoy the thrill of that, aren’t we still suspect of the new “boss,” the new co-worker in the cubical next to us, the most recent neighbor on the corner, the new family at your place of worship? The fear of the “outsider” is often overturned by our intense desire for community and the possibility that this new person may be a good match to satisfy our need for community and being known.

How can you make your brand be a rallying point for community? How can you advertise that your experience will bring people together and break down the mythical walls of “the outsider”? Look for ways to create dialogue in your marketing and storytelling. Search for ways to connect with this innate desire to be part of something greater. How can you invite the outsider into your community, your brand, your experience and create a “fan for life”? You do this and it’s a win-win.

For your brand and for your customers. Create a sense of belonging and people will follow. Community is more than a word; it is a longing in all of us.

Scott Feather
Scott Feather
Community Manager
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