Why do so many people have such a personal connection to Star Wars? Why do they take it so personally when George Lucas makes changes to his story? Why have multiple generations taken this story and made it their own?
Simon Sinek discovered something about people. He discovered that an audience identifies with beliefs and motivations. An audience is inspired by a person who reflects how they see the world. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Why does Star Wars inspire such an emotional responses from it’s audience? Because Star Wars reflects the beliefs of this audience. The way that these beliefs are communicated causes the audience to adopt this message as their own?
There are only two ways to influence behaviour. Manipulation or Inspiration.
Manipulation takes the form of sales or promotions to incentivise audience behaviour. Manipulation works well over the short-term for low-involvement or grudge purchases. Manipulative communication speaks directly to your pocket and it cannot build any sort of a loyal audience.
Inspiration has more of a long-term effect on an audience. Inspirational communication speaks to your emotions and is especially effective for high-involvement, expensive, aspirational purchases. These are the things that an audience pays for regardless of price. Inspired audiences are loyal because of the way they identify with these things.
The biggest difference between these two approaches is simple: Inspiration makes use of storytelling; Manipulation does not. Story is a powerful way to hack the human psyche. It’s a process, a journey. It communicates your belief in an easily consumable package that makes an audience feel rewarded. Story is how you inspire your audience to take your message and make it their own.