In 1994, when he was CEO of Pixar, Steve Jobs said, “The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.” Fast-forward almost 30 years later, and storytelling is still incredibly powerful. Marketers and the agencies and influencers that they work with play a huge role in shaping the collective imagination. That’s precisely why they can contribute to a new sustainability brand narrative. But it won’t be enough.

In the context of the green market revolution, now is the time to shift from storytelling to storymaking. Forrester defines storymaking as:

Storytelling that is actively co-created and trusted by customers who not only collaborate and contribute to the brand story but who can also become change makers in their daily lives using truly sustainable offerings.

Storymaking is one of the six pillars of Forrester’s CMO environmental sustainability blueprint and has multiple benefits for marketers. Establishing an authentic two-way conversation helps emotionally engage consumers. You can then more easily turn them into brand ambassadors — amplifying your fan community — letting them create content, participate in your story, and even potentially reduce the costs of your marketing campaigns. Storymaking is a key way for brands to contribute to a positive new climate message, build trust through more authentic communication, and empower consumers to become sustainability change makers. Good storymaking first requires alignment between your value proposition and purpose.

Leverage Forrester’s Storymaking IDEA Framework

A robust storymaking approach requires that you create strong alignment between the objectives, the target audience, the content itself, and the way that it is delivered. Marketers can leverage the IDEA framework: Identify your audience, define your objectives, empower your customers to co-create stories, and amplify via channels that augment your sustainability story.

Clients who are interested in going into the details and learning from pioneering brands can: