“The name is Bond, James Bond” – The big business of great storytelling

“The name is Bond, James Bond.” There’s no better example of the power of #storytelling and you don’t need to be in the business of secrets to benefit. To celebrate today’s release of ‘Forever and a Day’ written by Anthony Horowitz, here are (00)7 things the fictional MI6 agent can teach us about the power of story in business…

001   Great stories have longevity. Bond was created more than 60 years ago and is stronger than ever. In business our brands are often the heroes of our stories – they must be likeable and interesting if they, like Bond, are to go the distance. Bond, like many businesses, has a proud heritage but must also remain relevant. Don’t be afraid to circle back around to your origin story and re-tell it to stay relevant in today’s changing world – as Bond did in the reframing of the 2006 film ‘Casino Royale’.

002   A great story transcends individuals.   Ian Fleming created #Bond in 1953. He wrote 12 Bond novels and two short story collections. Fleming’s vision was so compelling that more Bond novels have been published since his death (by other authors) than he wrote himself. Leadership changes but when a story is compelling it transcends any single person.

003 Stories evolve. Sean Connery’s portrayal as Bond influenced how Fleming subsequently evolved the character in his writing. In business your hero can be a person, product or brand. Successful business storytellers harness evolution to keep their stories alive and advance them in their own unique way.

004 Good stories aren’t always sequential. It’s easy to think we should only share exciting new business developments but there are plenty of storytelling opportunities to be had by mining your organisation’s rich history. ‘Forever and a Day’ is the prequel to ‘Casino Royale’. Anthony Horowitz has looked back not forwards for this new Bond story and creatively included previously unpublished material by #IanFleming.

005 Stories transcend channel. Bond started as a novel but has subsequently been adapted for TV, radio, comic strip, video game and, of course, film. Strong stories can be told in different ways across different channels.

006 Great stories attract great people. And I’m not just talking about the main actors. Think about the musical artists desperate to be involved with the next Bond theme. Think about #AnthonyHorowitz, one of Britain’s best-selling authors, who persevered for years to secure the opportunity to write a Bond novel.   To become a great business, you need great people knocking on your door – great stories help with that.

007!  Telling the right stories can make you a lot of money. There’s been much talk this week about #DanielCraig being set to earn £50 million for what will be his final #JamesBond film. There’s no doubt that’s a lot but Skyfall made over £900 million. Successful stories sell!

Alex was employed by internationally-loved household brands to craft their words for two decades. She left to establish not A Duff word in March 2017. She now helps businesses, brands and boards to wordsmith words that work, master their messages to matter and sculpt standout stories. When she’s not writing for business, she’s writing fiction for pleasure. Her blog ‘early words’ is published Thursday mornings at 07:00.

photo credit Photo by Thibaut Nagorny on Unsplash

Published by

Alex Duff

Freelance Communications Professional

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