If you are using storytelling for your business or organization’s marketing, consider expectations for a moment.
Expectations are akin to the “emotional baggage” of the reader. If your content completely adheres to a reader’s expectations, he/she will skim your content and dump it quickly because he/she already knows what will happen next. Having a predictable story arc (introducing an obstacle, mediocre climax, and a foregone conclusion) can bring about these expectations but so can flat characters. The characters we tend to remember are those that are deliciously unexpected. Remember Indiana Jones’ fear of snakes? It brought a funny, endearing quality to an otherwise brash, stand-offish hero.
Highlighting these unexpected differences in characters is not just relegated to fiction. The story of your business, mission or cause can be told in the same way. It requires a desire to better know the people involved. We all have quirky characteristics. No one is predictable in every way. Spend some time thinking about how your story (including the people and setting involved in it) are different. Don’t hesitate to share those differences with your community. When you add this sort of depth to your people, company and/or surroundings you are much more real – and thus memorable – in your readers’/customers’ minds.