Kurt Vonnegut's Story Analysis: Cinderella Most Popular
We've watched this movie before. The hero starts low, slowly climbs only to be beaten viciously down in act three. Our hero doesn't go all the way back to where they started since their character is changed.

The hero's character remembers the climb.The climb instills character, courage and the discipline needed to recover from despair. Recovery is never swift, but it is assured. We know our investment in the hero will be rewarded.

The hero is us and the story is life.

This excellent +Harvard Business Review post shares story lines converted into a business context. When I worked at M&M/Mars it was rumored the Mars family were big believers in Jim Stoval's book The Ultimate Gift.

The Ultimate Gift is a "Cinderella Story" where a young man must learn responsibility by triumph and failure. Stoval's book was made into a movie with James Garner in 2006 and both book and movie are great examples of Vonegut's Cinderella storyline.

Business Context
How can you adopt these archetypes to marketing your business?

Boy Meets Girl = Gain, Loss, Gain
Tell the story of a new product that came on to market only to be met with moderate response until some X factor (listening to customers is my favorite X factor) won hearts and minds.

Man In A Hole
This time our new product is born from skunkworks struggle. Read Ben Rich's account of developing Stealth at Lockheed - Skunkworks: A Personal Memoir.

Here our new product would to through a series of tests. Passing each time the product would gain in acceptance and wisdom. Just when we think our new product will summit the mountain an event foreshadowed in how and where we started will knock out product down but not out. The "recovery story" full of redemption and new learning is what makes the Cinderella story line so compelling.

The key to Cinderella stories is breaking the reader's heart in Act III in a way that sets up the connection, trust and glory achieved in Act V. Recent examples include the Ford Mustang, Tiger Woods and Twinkies.

See also: Forbes 10 Brands Poised for a Comeback in 2013
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