The story of the magic stone
…or how to turn the brand into a platform for the audience
One cold night, in a small village, someone knocked on the door of a modest house. The woman who lived with her two small children cautiously opened the door. In front of the door stood an unknown man who immediately addressed her:
– Hello, sorry for knocking so late, but do you have some food to give me?
– I’m sorry, but we also have very little, the winter is long and I have to think about the children – answered the woman.
– And maybe you can just put water in a pot and heat it on the fire, because I have a magic stone that if you put it in hot water, in a while it makes a very tasty stew from nothing – insisted the visitor.
The woman couldn’t quite believe what she was hearing, but it had been a long time since they had last enjoyed a hot cooked meal, and her curiosity had taken its toll, so she decided to receive the man with the stone and let him make her the promised meal.
After they put the big pot of water on the fire and the stone in it, the man began to tell.
– Eh, last time when we made manja with the stone, we also put a little fat and it really turned out delicious.
– Hmm, I think I have some fat – said the woman and went to bring it to put in the pot.
At the same time, the woman’s neighbor, seeing through the window of her house the blazing fire and moving silhouettes, decided to go see what was happening.
– Let’s see if we don’t believe. A stone to make a bowl. – she said when she heard the story about the magic stone.
– It’s true, you’ll see. Once in a village we made such a delicious dish, the whole village ate it. Very nice potatoes grew in that village, so we added some of them and it turned out to be the best dish I’ve ever eaten – the man convinced her.
– Is that so? Well I think I can find two or three potatoes if that’s the case. I’ll be right back! – said the neighbor and immediately ran to give her contribution to the meal.
On the way, she told a few more neighbors who immediately joined to see the dish that the magic stone would make. They asked many questions to the man with the stone, who told them about different manjas that were made in different villages with the stone, and as a rule, each one had some ingredient that made the manja even more delicious – carrots, onions, dried meat. And each of the neighbors hastened to bring what they had to contribute to making the stone bowl the tastiest in their village.
In the end, you guessed it, it really turned out to be a very tasty manja, enough for everyone in the village to eat from it and be happy and satisfied, but not only because they ate something tasty and warm, but also because they participated in making a delicious manja for which the man with the stone will surely tell about the other places he will go.
The lesson of this story is obvious. We can get a lot for our brand from our audience if we manage to make the brand a platform that is the cornerstone of the story. That is, to involve the audience in the creation and distribution of content related to our brand and its values.
In order to achieve it, like the man with the stone, we need to pay attention to several things:
- To set a promise/commitment (brand promise) that really has value for consumers (like hot tasty food in a cold and hard winter)
- To involve them in the creation and to give them the feeling that they contribute to the story (making the manja together)
- To make them feel that they are part of a community that is striving together for a greater goal (our manja will be better than other villages and will be talked about everywhere)
And what is most important and what many brands forget in the end:
- To recognize and legitimize their credit for fulfilling the promise that the brand has set (to get the right and they can sip from the bowl) The
latter does not mean to share the profit with them, but we must make them feel that they have participated in a fair exchange. That is, that for their involvement in communicating the brand’s values and creating content that develops the brand, the audience will be appropriately rewarded, even if symbolically, such as:
- through the opportunity to share their creation with the community (as GoPro does, Lego, Sephora),
- an opportunity to show that they are part of a group with a specific corpus of values (Red Bull, Harley Davidson) or
- an opportunity to signal virtue by advocating for a higher purpose (Warby Parker).