Positive and sustainable social impact is at the heart of any social good brand. This means changing the socio-economic status quo of people and transitioning them to a better way of life. Each such transition has a story of fight, hope and triumph behind it. These stories form the pillars of a social good brand and give it a distinct personality and emotional appeal. People can be motivated to be part of the brand as customers, donors, investors, volunteers, employees or simply as ardent followers by showing them a vision they can believe in, and the positive outcome of the brand’s efforts.
Excerpt from my e-book ‘Understanding The Art & Science of Visual Storytelling for New-Age Social Good Brands’
Storytelling is a powerful instrument in the hands of social good brands to connect with their audience in a real and meaningful way. It transcends fancy advertising, sleek slide shows and data-laden boardroom presentations by manifesting its true self through human stories.
Storytelling is not about corporate videos or cheeky animations. It’s not about product demos or founder’s speech. Simply put, it is a tale with real-life characters,their conflicts and their struggle to find solutions. It’s about reflecting on and defining complex issues and showing the optimum responses required to address those issues.
It’s intuitive to understand that all stories are told for a specific audience. A social good brand may have different stories for different audience. Stories are also closely affiliated to the nature of the social good brand.
There are 3 major entities in the social good spectrum:
- Funding organizations like Charities, Philanthropy foundations, CSR departments and Impact Investors
- Mentoring organizations like Incubators and Startup Accelerators
- Social entrepreneurs and innovators
The way these different organizations employ storytelling is reflective of their role in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem.
Storytelling for Funding Organizations
Funding organizations administer large amounts of funds received from their patrons and typically define their core areas of impact. They follow a funding philosophy in accordance to these areas and seek to affiliate with downstream partner organizations compatible to their goals. Funding organizations disburse funds through various modes- Donations, grants and seed capital for early stage entrepreneurs.
Primary purpose of storytelling for these organizations should be to establish their evangelical role in fostering social change
Storytelling for Incubating Organizations
Incubating and mentoring organizations play a very important role of an intermediary in instrumentalizing social change through innovation. They coach entrepreneurs and problem solvers to systematically build their capabilities and scale their business models for sustained impact. Often, they provide grants and funds to select entrepreneurs with proven models.
Primary purpose of storytelling for these organizations should be to demonstrate their effectiveness and ability to identify and support the most optimum solutions for specific problems.
Storytelling for Entrepreneurial Organizations
Social entrepreneurs and innovators typically apply their faculties towards solving specific socio-economic or socio-environmental problems through resourceful and positive intervention. They are the grassroots changemakers and understand the complex aspects of the problem they are solving.
Primary purpose of storytelling for these organizations should be to showcase the impact of their efforts on their target beneficiaries and other stakeholders. They need to articulate their vision for a positive social change.
So, no matter who you are in the social good ecosystem, the purpose of your storytelling is intimate to what role you play.