A few days ago, I found this interesting chart in the magazine “The Economist”, which clearly shows (if we believe the data) that the entire topic of a problem between the EU and Great Britain was made up.
I find this amazing: until the campaign started, around just 90 percent of the population couldn’t care less. Only with the campaign, the percentage went up to to the amount they needed to get the vote to leave the European Union.
I think there are some important lessons to learn for your internal communication and your marketing.
Regardless of if you want to launch a new product or get your staff members behind your new strategic initiative, here are the steps to follow:
- Identify emotional hooks that people strongly connect to. I recommend identifying two or three of the seven human drives (email me if you want to learn more about them) that you can use for your purposes. Does your product or initiative increase the feeling of belonging? Does it grow individual significance? Or give room for creativity? Whatever you choose, build a very strong positive connection to your cause.
- Create stories. Lots of them. People love stories (even those who say they don’t!). Use the classical storytelling frameworks with a hero, victims, evil, the good, a hopeless situation, and a possible victory against all the odds. You find this over the top? I can say just one thing: It works!
- Relentlessly nurture the emotional hooks from step #1. Find ambassadors, create studies that prove your point, and so on.
Most strategic initiatives and change projects fail exactly because the initiative owners do NOT follow these three steps.
Next time, for any change: try it out. If you feel too uncomfortable, get a sparring partner.