If you’ve ever wondered what a story-monial is, look no further than the movie ‘Troy’. The Brad Pitt- and Eric Bana-starrer is the mother of all story-monials. A story-monial is a customer testimonial smashed into a story – a devastatingly effective way to write a great testimonial.
‘Troy’ is one hell of a story.
Agamemnon versus Troy. Ambition versus resilience. Achilles versus Hector. Revenge versus duty. Swashbuckling bravado versus princely valor.
‘Troy’ is also a testimonial.
It’s a testimonial to the principles and legacy of the middle ages and the Greek era. For example, rival armies allowed each other to take away their dead from the battlefield. This was part of an honor code followed in those times. This is not stated anywhere in the movie. This, you get to know as the story unfolds.
So, that, in essence, is a story-monial. It is about relating a customer experience in a way so that your other customers get to know your brand, without pushing your branding message down their throats. It’s a great testimonial for your brand without sounding like one.
And, what better way to relate such an experience than in the form of, well, a story?
Also read: 6 Types of PR Disasters You Want to Avoid
The other thing you need to keep in mind while relating customer experiences is to keep it real. This is where the concept of a testimonial kicks in. This is where the story should take on the flavor of a testimonial from your customers.
So, when we say keep it real, we mean real. And a real testimonial makes for a great testimonial.
This means, if you’re shooting a video for your brand story, no retakes, no edits, no razzmatazz, no added sound. If you’re writing copy for your brand story, no embellishments, no unrelated subplots, no forced adjectives. If you’re whipping up an audio clip, no cheesy background scores, no unsynchronized inputs, no nothing. Just the bare stuff.
Here is an ad by Ambi Pur, a car air freshener brand: Ambi Pur v/s Tadka: Smelly to Smiley Video
This is part testimonial, part ad. The story element in this ad is quite limited, so this may not qualify as a full-fledged story-monial, but hey, you get the idea.
Here’s another example, a story-monial for Ryze (a venture by life coach Jason Fonseca) that starts something like this:
A story-monial by Jennifer Price.
I stared at the blinking cursor in my Skype chat, desperate for his wisdom.
‘Breathe’, Jason typed.
I nodded and felt myself relax as the oxygen filled me.
More words appeared on the screen. ‘Are you ready?’
‘Yes’, I replied.
‘Stop being such a bitch.’
. . .
It can’t get any more real. Right?
So, there you are. You have to do all of two things to write a great testimonial and get that story-monial right: let your customer get to know you as your customer experience story unfolds (as opposed to pushing your branding message), and keep it real.
Also read: Learning To Let Go: Outsourcing Content
Also, remember that you are closest to your brand, so you are perhaps the best story teller for your brand. But, it also means you are too close to the picture, and may be grappling with the unseen dots, in which case an external perspective may help.
So, it may make sense to get the story-monial told by storytellers and content creators who are unconnected to your brand. What this does is keep your brand story even more real!