What’s in the Box?

(2 minute read, 18-minute watch)

Star Wars, Mission: Impossible, Lost, Star Trek, Alias. What do these films and television series have in common?


They were all created, written or directed by J.J. Abrams, a brilliant modern storyteller. One of Abrams' sharpest tools in his storytelling arsenal is mystery, which he incorporates into all of his works to draw in his audience. For example, in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, who is Kylo Ren and where is Luke Skywalker? In the television series, Lost, who are "The Others" and what secrets lie within the island they are stranded on?

In his TED talk, Abrams tells the story about a mystery box that he bought from a magic shop more than twenty years ago. Why has he held on to it for this long and an even bigger question - why hasn't he ever opened it? Watch this entertaining video to see why.


Outside of entertainment, storytelling has equal relevance for companies and products in the marketplace. It allows a consumer to connect with a brand and bolster a lasting relationship. Loyal consumers who feel a deep connection to a brand will even evangelize the brand. Consumer evangelization is the most powerful and cost-efficient marketing tactic.

Building that connection can prove difficult, though, with the noise of millions of competing brands. How can your company and products stand out? As J.J. Abrams put it, "There are times when mystery is more important than knowledge". In other words, a bit of intrigue can spark consumers' imagination, prompting them to lean in, explore, and patronize your brand on their own. There is power in mystery. When correctly presented, it invites consumers to follow the journey of an unfolding story.

How will you add a bit of mystery to your brand?

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