With technology development and a high competition, offering an unexpected experience is one of the on-going challenges for many companies. Storytelling is one of the communications seeking to bring the top of mind when customers think of the products or services. Instead of telling the customer of’ “you should use this because it is this and that”. Nah, too old and soon it will be forgotten. Instead, with storytelling, viewers can engage with the brand story to their own story or to their unconscious selves, followed by recalling and share the story about the brand.

A big company seems to be able to come up with a story since they already know their customers; however it is more challenging for new start-up businesses to promote themselves using a storytelling when there is no bonding between them and their customers yet. They have no idea what their customers will like.

Understanding how psychology drives our human unconscious behavior, related to consumer buying behavior, can help company/marketer to determine a scope of storytelling and to create a strong linkage between the story and the customers toward business agenda.

Psychology Drive
Jungian psychology explained that collective unconscious is an inherited part of the human psyche; it is not developed from personal experience (Bowdon, 2015). The idea is that each newborn has an intact personality blueprint, both physically and mentally (Hopwood, 2015). It creates individual unconscious appeal in a form of decision and action. According to Bowdon’s argument on Jungian psychology, the unconsciousness is expressed through ‘archetypes’, known as the universal forms of thought that influences an individual’s feelings and action; where tradition or cultural rules also play a role in the archetypes. There are primary 12 archetypes (explorer, caregiver, ruler etc) that represent basic human motivations; each type has its own set of value, meaning and personality traits (Golden, 2014). As illustrated, they are defined into four groups of orientation: ego-fulfillment, freedom, socialness and order. Read more.

Photo 1: 12 Archetypes

Business Focus
By understanding the groupings and dynamic of the motivation behind each type, companies can determine what kind of story will relate customers’ archetypal story and thus forming a brand recall, decision and real action.

Dovas, 2015
Photo 2: T-shirt Vending Machine

This is an example of storytelling used by Fashion Revolution where the vending machine was placed in Berlin offering t-shirt for 2 Euros. Knowing that most people are full of curiosity (the explorer) to try on the machine, then using the innate caregiver personality; they tested whether people would still buy it after they are challenged with the conditions workers exploitation. Not only imprinting experience to customers through a story, Fashion Revolution even changed shoppers’ decision; 8 out of 10 shoppers made a donation instead of buying a cheap t-shirt (Fashion Revolution, 2015). They used story leading the shoppers to the point that they need to make a second thought and identify who they really are. By learning the story, shoppers associated with their own story (their own unconsciousness of being a caregiver) and reacted. Watch the clip.

Like an example above, a marketer cannot just leave the viewers being carried by the story. There must be a point that an actual action is taken or the awareness is raised by the viewers because it is the objective of storytelling. Hence, understanding what people’s decision-making factors through the archetype, what kind of a story that creates a strong link between people and brand and what practical call-to-action motive can yield a powerful brand recall or even immediate action from the viewers.


Bowdon, T. (2015) Psychology Classics. Available from: http://www.butler-bowdon.com/carl-jung—the-archetypes-and-the-collective-unconscious.html [Accessed 21 October 2015].

Fashion Revolution (2015). The 2 Euro T-shirt – A Social Experiment. Available from : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfANs2y_frk
[Accessed 21 October 2015].

Golden, C. (2014) The 12 Common Archetypes. Available from : http://www.soulcraft.co/essays/the_12_common_archetypes.html
[Accessed 21 October 2015].

Hopwood, A. (2015) Jung’s model of the psyche. Available from : http://www.thesap.org.uk/jung-s-model-of-the-psyche
[Accessed 21 October 2015].

Photo 1 : http://www.soulcraft.co/essays/the_12_common_archetypes.html

Photo 2 : http://www.boredpanda.com/vending-machine-social-experiment-2-euro-t-shirt-fashion-revolution/


12 thoughts on “ONCE UPON A TIME

  1. In people’s lifestyle that’s busy and rapid, this video is indeed an inspiration for the awareness of the lives of fellow human beings. Well captured and pointed out.


  2. I checked the Fashion Revolution website. Pretty interesting what they want to achieve. It has several social media accounts around the globe. It will be good to know the repercutions that this and other related movements have made to the giant brands.


    1. I hope you like how they used the story and call for the action.

      I think the concern is that there is a lack of transparency from the clothing companies. We won’t be able to check or trace working conditions until it comes to the world’s attention. They would instead lead us to their CSR campaign.
      Fortunately, there is raising awareness of the clothes industry and workers exploitation. For example, Fair Trade Winds is an organization founded to seek the companies that are selling ethical apparel and promote them. In addition, the movement may not make an immediate change on how they do business, but if customers are aware of this issue, they may reconsider their purchasing decision.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the company can deliver the story to customers efficiency. Not only just watching or reading what the company try to tell story to you, but you get involved in it by using the vending machine. This will make customers feel the experience and impressive in the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My point is that Fashion Revolution know so well that the presentation will urge people to react. They know that people will have conflict of their value they are holding on to. In the end, they need to weight to two value; for them to get a cheap t-shirt or to give donation as a mean to show how they care about others.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I found the Archetypes interesting, though it reminds me a bit about Myers Briggs Personality Indication. I feel like it would be great for start-up companies to identify their target customer then use these personalities techniques to attract that specific group of customer. But still, not sure if it’ll work with all kinds of products..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is similar. I guess the Myers-Briggs personality indicator test is to help explain Jung’s psychology archetypes. I brought up this topic because I wanted to point out considering basic psychology can help us to relate the viewer and the story.
      However, it does not mean all kinds of products has to follow as long as they have clear and strong positioning.


  5. I’m totally agree with you that storytelling is very important in a business sector as it can transmit a message between a storyteller and a listener. But it doesn’t mean that the company can only share their story and do nothing.

    Actually, I saw a vendor machine selling a magazine in Thailand. There were many people interested in it but at first they just walked away and after that they came back to have an action with a staff who taught them how to buy a magazine via a vendor machine.

    When I saw this, I thought it was very interesting that a company can have a relationship with their customer, this can also increase a brand recognition.


      1. Hi Jananun,
        If you are a marketer, what do you want to do in order to improve the storytelling to be more effective. I mean like can you forecast what is the new trend of technology to be used in the storytelling.


  6. I think a story telling is not that challenging, particularly for start-up. It can be started from letting audience know the values what they do in running business as long as the story is genuine 🙂


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