You cannot package the storytelling process as a “product.”

There is a huge difference between video production as a product and as a creative service. We can try to wrap it up as a product with some neatly packaged technology. We can try to bundle it with a service for one cut price. We can try to sell it with a mark-up so a sales force can find a way to make a buck. Video production can be a product…but it is based on technology that is an evolving commodity.

I would prefer video production as a creative service…better yet, a creative exploration. As technology changes…you know the technology that allows us to shoot, edit, write, host, deliver, and watch the video product…the creative enterprise is a constant flow.

As one who used to run and own a few companies that tried to package video as a product, I learned that there are two variables that cause a huge disruption in the business model: technology and the creative process.

Each time you tried to package a “video production,” the natural selling point was the technology that will be used to support this creative enterprise. Within a year (or shorter)…it had changed. You had to have a team of individuals dedicated to working solely on the innovation of technology that supports that package price. That is hard to do in small/entrepreneurial business that needs to support a technology staff and a creative staff.

You cannot package price the creative process…at least I do not think so. You can estimate the amount of time, effort, intellectual knowledge, experience, etc…but this is a variable that is most times is hard to predict. You can set a budget as “not to exceed” but have you really achieved the goals? The creative process is sometimes is an evolution…finding a way to package the creative process with technology is challenging.

As I watch so many organizations struggle with this idea of packaging video production as product…how do you sell the metric of results. If the technology fails, the video does not play, the device does not work, the e-blast is not received, etc…then you have lost that one shot to share that video message. So a metric to measure the success of the creative enterprise is not found….because the packaged technology is out of date or not working.

I think about the un-measurable results of video projects, wonderful stories told that create communities of conversations. The ones where a message is carefully crafted with care and love. That message is shared in the right setting at the right time, regardless of the technology. It is then shared over and over whether through DVD’s, YouTube, sharing a link, inside a powerpoint, or even shared when it is least expected. The results create a culture of change, a change in language, change in point-of-view…un-restricted as a product and crafted as a creative enterprise.

Sharing stories is more than packaging video products inside this nicely fit constraint…it is about crafting visual messages that make people connect in ways they have not before. You can not sell that process as a product…it sells itself as a creative enterprise. It comes from years of experience, the intuition of a storyteller, the heart of a person who truly listens, and the soul of those who want to be a part of the storytelling process.