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The Power of the Plot Twist

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

When was the last time life threw YOU a plot twist? I’m talking about an unexpected turn of events that really shifted your story path… for better or for worse.

The truth is, we all experience plot twists, don’t we? But how we respond to them and how we use them to connect with our core audience is what makes all the difference when it comes to building a relatable story brand.

As any seasoned movie goer knows, a good plot twist is vital when it comes to grabbing and holding an audience’s attention. And the same is true when it comes to brand storytelling.

So today as we talk about plot twists, I’m going to be using four movie analogies to help us connect the storytelling elements we can look for inside our own life experiences.

Let's take a look at the four main plot twists types:

The Reversal of Fortune

The reason this storytelling technique has always worked so well with audiences is that as humans we can relate when we hear stories about other people’s struggles. Even if those struggles are different than our own, the frustration and exhaustion and fear and desperation that result are all emotions we can relate to.

But when we encounter a rags-to-riches plot twist, we’re encouraged by the hopeful ending.

What are the “rags to riches” elements of your own business story? Did you build your business from scratch? Did you come from humble beginnings? Consider how these could be of interest to your audience.

The Revenge of the Underdog

We’ve all been the underdog before, so we inevitably cheer on the underdogs in stories. We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve felt we were facing insurmountable odds.

At its heart, the underdog story pits a weaker or less-equipped character against another stronger, more prepared character. It’s clear from the outset who the underdog is and just how difficult it will be for them to come out on top.

Think of your own underdog stories. Did you build your business from scratch at your kitchen table? Did you start out in a small town no one has ever heard of? What odds were stacked against YOU? Tell your audience about it…

The Quest for Meaning

Many companies today that have built their brand story around this idea of a search for deeper meaning and/or a social mission. We call these purpose-driven businesses.

Think of Toms Shoes, The Body Shoppe and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream. In each case, these companies claim to have a double bottom line which includes not only financial profit, but social profit as well.

Is there a deeper meaning for YOUR business? Be sure to share it with your audience.

The Unexpected Encounter

This plot twist is familiar to many of us. Perhaps we’ve been moving through life and found ourselves in a familiar pattern when suddenly – quite unexpectedly – we meet someone who shifts our mindset or causes us to look at life in a brand new way.

Has an unexpected encounter ever caused you to look at your business in a brand new light? Maybe that change encounter actually caused you to rethink or reshape your business.

Sometimes the best collaborations and partnerships come out of unexpected encounters. The more unexpected, the more interesting! Share them with your audience.

I’d love to hear about which one of these plot twists jives with your own brand or business, so be sure to let me know by clicking here!

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