Because no-one remembers a faceless brand.
Use the before - after - bridge formula for creating instant awareness for your business. All stories – written, spoken, and video-based – can fit into this storytelling structure.
Why does it work? It taps into your audience’s imagination to help them understand how you can help.
From sales copy to short emails, the BAB Play is an uber-effective weapon to have in your storytelling toolkit.
Audience profile, notebook, sticky notes, and a wild imagination.
You can work on this Play both on your own or in collaboration with your team. All you need to be good at is tapping into your target people’s emotions and painting vivid mental pictures.
Crack open your notebook or a fresh Google doc – whatever your preference. Jot down your target audience’s struggle.
Once you know what your audience struggles with, try to identify how it makes them feel – frustrated, lost, angry? Write these feelings down – one on each sticky note.
Now, plan out how a solution would likely make them feel.
If you can, talk to your customers. Better yet, if you can get someone from your target audience, even if they’re someone from your team, to try your product/service. When they do, observe their reaction and ask them how it makes them feel.
Write these observations on sticky notes.
For example, for a DIY design tool, ask your teammate who aligns with your target audience’s description to create a simple graphic with the app. Watch them carefully as they use the app to record their reaction.
With a strong grip on the struggles and accompanying feelings, plan how you’d visualize the problem and imagined solution to your audience.
So you’ll be working on two mental visuals here – whether created using written copy or shot for a video:
The ‘before' or the raw struggle.
For example, a user trying to send an overseas payment unsuccessfully. Their team’s waiting for them to join for lunch. But sending the payment is taking too long. Frustrated, they grind their teeth together and signal their team to eat without them.
The ‘after’ or the imaginary solution.
For example, the user sending overseas payments in one click. They grin and take a happy spirit to their team lunch.
Finding the best way to showcase the ‘before’ and ‘after’ situations can take a few attempts so don’t give up.
Once done, review your scenarios for effectively capturing all emotions before proceeding to work on the ‘bridge.’
With emotions-evoking ‘before’ and ‘after’ sections, you’ll have successfully built intrigue. Your story’s consumers would now want to know how to reach the ‘after’ stage.
This is where the ‘bridge’ or your solution comes in.
For example, show your user’s screen with a prominent logo of your payment sending software and them sending payment with one click.
Try mixing the Play’s structure as Descript does in their intro video. They typically share scenes from ‘before,’ introduce the ‘bridge,’ and finally show how their app leads viewers to their (happy) ‘after.’
Take a look at how Clickup shares the ‘bridge’ from the start of this video.
In summary, the before - after - bridge Play is one of the simplest and most effective ways of telling captivating stories. Use can even use it to create stories on the fly.
All you need to do is to walk your audience through their struggle and their happy life minus the struggle. Close it with the ‘how’ or the ‘bridge’ between the ‘before’ and ‘after.’