Social Media Design Insights

The Story Principle In Action


One of my all-time favorite things to do is go on vacation; I am pretty sure you enjoy vacationing too! Summer seems to be the primary time people take vacations and REI, an outdoor clothing, gear and footwear store, decided to create a social media campaign based on the story principle of getting you ready for your upcoming outdoor vacations.


The Campaign

REI’s campaign brings to life stories about swimming with sea lions and enjoying the beach. They also tell of running along sunlit trails and weekend campouts. They are currently featured on Facebook and invite REI’s target audience to visit their website or let them know of any upcoming summer celebrations the audience may have.



The Story Principle

Everyone loves a good story. As kids, we clambered on our parent’s laps begging for yet another story. Also, in school, we followed along in books as our teacher would read them out loud. Then, as adults, we ask each other questions and want to hear the story of how one is doing. Also, when we go camping, we gather around the fire and tell stories of what has been as well as what’s to come. Stories have affected each of us, and they continue to do so even today; this is why the story principle gets utilized in marketing. Stories help the audience connect with your company because it associates the advertisement with something that they already view in a favorable light.

Take for instance this ad created by REI. They share stories of swimming’ beaches and summer fun. Which creates a desire in their audience to be out in the sun, upon the sand, hearing the waves beat against the beach while enjoying the feeling of the water as they glide through it. All the while they show how utilizing their gear helps to make the time out in the sun more enjoyable.

Even though REI did not go into that much detail, the imagination fills in the gaps to create the complete story above. Stories are alluring as they let your audience daydream just as this audience is now dreaming about using the best tools and being dressed in the perfect clothing for their upcoming vacations. Also, each of us dreams of our vacations which is what connects us to this advertising campaign.

The End

Storytelling is effective in social media campaigns. Therefore, each of us needs to be aware of what are audience interests are. Because it is with this information that we can create stories to help them discover who we are and what we can offer them. Just like REI used the knowledge that their audience would need the right type of tools and good quality outdoor clothing for their vacation. Even though the time or place where the audience would go was unknown, they were still able to feature an assortment of styles and tools to tantalize their audience’s imagination. Let’s set to work on creating the next adventure for our targeted audience to go on as they utilize our product or services. I would love to see how you have used this principle so please share a link to your new advertisement with us.


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Four Steps Any Leader Can Take to Ensure That the Odds of Business Success are Ever in Their Favor



According to a survey, conducted by Dimensional Research, of just over 1000 people, 95% will share their stories of bad customer experiences. Out of the 95%, 54% will share their story with more than five people, and 45% also share their stories on social media. Each negative story that gets shared creates a damaging impact on your company’s unique brand identity effectively increasing the odds of business failure.  A leader must proactively take steps to prevent negative experiences and create positive experiences. Let’s explore four steps that the leader of a backpacking expedition takes to ensure a positive backpacking experience and evaluate how they apply to business.

Enlist All Team Members

On an extended backpacking trip, the backpackers must work together to carry what they need to achieve their goal of having a positive experience and avoid overtaxing themselves. For example, one backpacker will have the pots and pans in their pack while another will have the stove and yet another carries the tent. For your business to be successful in creating positive experiences and building the company’s unique brand identity, without experiencing team member burn out, you too need to work together. Your team should consist of everyone who is currently working for the company. Doing this will help to ensure positive experiences for your customers, team members and other stakeholders.

Consistently Follow Documented Processes & Procedures

When backpackers hit the trail, they need a way to chart their course. Consequently, they must guarantee that someone in the group will have an up-to-date map and compass to help guide them. As your business works on establishing its brand identity, team members will need to follow current, documented processes and procedures; which will help them to handle diverse situations consistently.

Establish Effective Business Systems

Adding unnecessary weight to a pack can overwhelm the backpacker and cause them to fall to the wayside and be left behind. Thus, it is vital to use the proper equipment to avoid burdening team members with excess weight. As a business leader, you need to make sure that company systems and applications support your processes, procedures and users (you, the team, customers and stakeholders). Having the right systems and applications will help all involved to have a positive experience and not become overwhelmed, fall by the wayside and be left behind.

Clear, Concise, Compelling and Consistent Communicated Messages

As you have seen planning an extended backpacking trip has a variety of steps. However, the excursion will not take place if the date and time do not get communicated. You too have a message to convey. This message is your company’s unique brand identity. Customers will only come to you if they know who you are and what you have to offer them.


As we have learned from these backpackers, positive experiences are created by enlisting all team members, consistently following all documented processes and procedures, establishing effective business systems and consistently communicating a clear, concise, compelling message. In the upcoming weeks, we will delve deeper into each of these four steps which will ensure that the odds of business success will ever be in your favor.

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