Storytelling, Innovation, and Building Belonging in Global Communities

Laura Roberts

How is human connection defined these days? Is it the way 100 million Super Bowl viewers can collectively be brought on a unified wave of nostalgia through a 30 second ad? Or in a more physical sense, is it the way that even though it takes 21 hours and 30 minutes to fly from the towers of London to the shores of Sydney, you can still reach your loved ones, peers, or co-workers within seconds of tapping that dial button? 

In our ultra-connected global community, we find ourselves each day navigating our way through multiple screens, exposure to thousands of ads, and a luring attempt to fall into an indefinite scroll cycle. It’s no wonder why brands and marketers are constantly innovating to create that golden, authentic, and brand connection with audiences around the world. 

How do you create genuine connection that cuts through the clutter, creates heart-felt conversation, and builds community on a global scale? The answer lies in creativity powered by storytelling. 

Thousands of sports fans don’t pay for nosebleed tickets just to see a ball getting thrown into the air. They’re in it for the backstory of how their favourite player grew up, pushed past all expectations and challenges, and ended up on the world stage. Players wear their jersey with a commitment to championing their teams, writing their story one challenge (and win) at a time, driving fans to wear the same jersey with profound pride. Storytelling is the impact that binds fans, audiences, and communities. 

When it comes to live events and experiences, storytelling is also the key differentiator that inspires audiences to cultivate fond memories, new connections, and brand resonance for years to come. Storytelling is an art that shines brightest in its simplicity, but often the colours can get washed out through complexity. So, keep things simple. 

Ask yourself – how do you want your audiences to feel? Why are you telling this story? How is it relevant to your target audience and through what mediums can you reach them? Above all, what is the one key message you want them to walk away with from your event, advertisement, or campaign? Approach it through a lens of authenticity and your stories will spark conversations and create emotional connection. This will ultimately form valuable communities as the conversations build and evolve over time.  

Storytelling is what cuts through the noise, but we must remember that our audiences are told hundreds of stories a day. How can you add innovation to your storytelling? Post-pandemic, the virtual and the physical now dance together, an incredible catalyst to innovation. Whether you want to transform a fashion show into a couture NFT auction or add a perfume making station to your event so that guests can bring home their memories in a bottle, innovation powers storytelling. 

Telling human stories that resonate with each of us on a global scale is what has created such a strong community of Airbnb hosts across the globe, as we see travellers shifting from hotels to homes. These types of innovation bring crowds together in collective awe, it’s what creates shareability, and it’s what keeps the conversation going once the doors close and the experience ends. Before you know it, a community is created.

We’re all hyper-connected on a diverse and global tapestry, however our spirits will always commune to seek collective belonging. When your brand designs a story that inspires a human connection, and then elevates this story through innovation, you’re going to spark conversation and connections where communities are formed, as people flock to the people and messages that best resonate with them. 

To connect is one thing, but to belong is another – so let’s start sharing the stories that will bring us together. 

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