Imagine a market where you are not only identified with your age, your nationality, your income, your whatever but also for what you BELIEVE!
It was exceptionally a warm day when I was visiting a friend in Helsinki. We were jabbering on our way home when we came across an old bookstore. I have always loved old bookstores with all the nostagic atmosphere and chance to run into a beautiful serendipity. This time, it was a whitish and greenish book back in the first shelves near the counter. The title catches my attention right away: “The Dream Society – How the coming shift from information to imagination will transform your business” by Rolf Jensen. It might have been because I obviously seemed to be glued to the book, my friend offered to buy me the book right away. The book is no doubt an interesting book to read, but it is only until recently that I find some connections between what the book has to say and what I have observed and experienced.
A few months after I finished the book, I came across a business with the so-called storytelling stratety. It was Everlane, the startup business that disrupted the fashion retail industry with the story about transparency. “It would be so cool to see the true cost of producing the tee I am wearing”, I told myself. I was inspired, but I also wondered whether my friends would also be interested. They are urban students between the age of 18 and 24, which fits right into the target customer segment of Everlane. It was the reason why I started my thesis of Digital Storytelling with the representative example from Everlane to test quantitatively the impact of the storytelling tactics.
My surveys are now ready to be distributed already, but last night, after some conversations, I just realized that my friends who were also from Vietnam and around my age would not necessarily be inspired by this same story by Everlane. This reminds me of the way Mr. Jensen describes the future markets in the Dream Society. There will not be Market for Products, but instead Market for Stories. In other words, if i identify myself with Everlane, I choose to tell the story about me with the belief in transparency. For my friends, even though they are from the same background, they may have a different story that they want to relate themselves to instead of transparency. There might have also been other reasons for my friends’ indifference: Vietnam’s disposable income is not that high yet, my friends’ preference for stories of other well-known brands, etc. If this is the case, market research here plays a very important role in helping companies either identify their target customers or identify the story market that have not been tapped into.
I am now still working on my thesis, but hopefully I can find some cool things to get updated with the storytelling market. For now, I feel inspired and excited about this new territory. The Dream Society, written and dreamt in 1999, is not that far away.