Join Craig Smallish for an in-depth discussion in this video Using storytelling to determine core values, part of Developing Ideas and Design Concepts.
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What are core values? As the name implies, core values are those important feelings or beliefs that a consumer may relate to a product or service. Core values can be challenging to determine, but by crafting stories that involve the product, we can often unearth them and gain a better understanding of how the product can impact or influence a person's life. We can then develop those stories as a means to communicate those values to consumers.
The key is reaching the consumer by connecting with their needs or touching their emotions. For example, if we think about the product antiperspirant. We can assume the average consumer probably doesn't care how it stops perspiration, but they need to believe they'll feel confident in that important meeting they're going to later that day. Even that fragment of a story quickly tells us that trusting and believing, and feeling confident are important core values related to antiperspirant.
The storytelling strategy gives us a chance to stand in someone else's shoes in any number of different scenarios where the product plays a role. The direction the story goes is entirely up to us as it unfolds, our aim is to identify those emotions that our character may be feeling. The frameworks that we create for our stories are nearly limitless, and each different story we create has the potential to render different emotional feedback.
I'll show you what I mean, but first, you'll need to follow me into the kitchen. Take this floor cleaner, for example. If we compose a little story where this product plays a role, it can help us find some core values. Let's say, I'm a late 30s, single working mom, and I've just finished cleaning my kitchen floor. I'm hosting a dinner for my boss and colleagues, and they're going to be here in less than an hour. Wow, this floor looks incredible.
Everything is in its place, and I'm feeling very confident about tonight. And the promotion I'm up for next month. Even that little segment of the story, I just crafted, turned up some worthwhile core values. By putting myself in her shoes, I can actually begin to sense certain things like, a feeling of confidence and of being at the top of my game, because, my home is looking great. That, and my colleagues will be amazed at my ability to keep everything under control.
And because of my confidence, I'm feeling like I could really have a good shot at that promotion they're offering later this month. Large or small, the role of the floor cleaner as my supporting cast member, was important to extracting those core values. There's hundreds of little stories just like that one. Each can give us a unique perspective through the eyes of another individual. Each one offers the potential for a concept. Virtually, every product or service has core values, but it's up to the creator to search them out.
Using the storytelling technique, gives us a chance to look beyond the literal or the obvious. Ultimately, we can begin to see what we're searching for. And visualizing core values through the eyes of another can act as a creative catalyst all on its own.
- What is concepting?
- Working with clients
- Doing your research
- Determining the core values of a product or service
- Using free association
- Building the written descriptives
- Using search engines to fuel ideas
- Flipping your ideas 180 degrees
- Creating a rough sketch
- Defining the refined sketch