5 Reasons Why Storytelling Works For Your Brands

Well, who does not like a good story? What we can never remember as dry theory can be easily etched in mind as a story. This is why we all love fiction (and hate text books). Ancient knowledge and traditions have always been stored as folk stories rather than voluminous history books. This is exactly why no one should underestimate the power of storytelling, including marketers. So, let us see how storytelling plays a major role in this marketing.

5 Reasons Why Storytelling Works For Your Brands

1. Stories make people relate to the narrative:

People can relate to the characters of a story, even if they are indirect sales pitches.  But for this purposes, the stories will have to be crafted very carefully, keeping the target audience in mind. Through your brochure or adverts you must tell stories of people who are similar to your target consumers and explain how they benefitted by using your product. More often than not, a down to earth, commonplace character can attract more sympathy because average people relate to them compared to a supermodel with surreal looks.  Look at this print ad for Jeep, clearly targeting their “wildlife” and “adventure” loving target group.

5 Reasons Why Storytelling Works For Your Brands

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2. Stories Keep People Intrigued:

Stories are also best tools for capturing and retaining attention. Nobody is really interested in direct promotions that see the move ahead end of the TV remote control. If you follow the right storytelling techniques, you can build suspense and suck people into your narrative, thus making them unknowingly get deep into your pitch. You need to build suspense and keep people guessing so that they remain interested till the end. Generally if you drag your marketing pitches too long, the audience is likely to lose interest. This is where you need your storytelling skills to keep them listening to you.

3. Stories Inspire:

Good inspirational stories are liked by everyone. For instance if you have a celebrity sportsman as an endorser, tell his story effectively, so that people feel the need to emulate that person. For instance, Apple has cleverly built a cult around its charismatic founder Steve Jobs, so much so that his name has become synonymous with the brand name even when he is no more. He remains an inspirational figure for generations of youngsters with big dreams and ambitions. His biographies and biopics keep releasing and they keep strengthening the brand Apple, directly or indirectly. This is even more critical of a Startup, where the founder’s brand usually extends to the brand of the Startup itself. 

4. Stories Amuse:

There are other types of stories that amuse or entertain people. A little bit of humour always helps. The most shared memes on the internet are hilarious ones. Once the brands manage to create a viral meme, they can gain free publicity through it. There is also a possibility of developing full-fledged ventures. For instance the LEGO Movie is a full-fledged feature film. It was a great critical and commercial success and it would have worked even without the brand association. But at the same time imagine the kind of eyeballs the brand LEGO itself is getting through this film! And it didn’t stop with the film, when they didn’t win the Oscars, it had a viral moment of glory with a fabulous social media response!

5. Stories Drive Consumer Behavior:

Eventually these stories stealthily drive the customers and dictate their behaviour. Unlike direct promotional material, they do it subtly and subconsciously. For this, the storyteller has to delve deep into the consumer psychology and understand the desires and aspirations of the target audience. The right story will elicit the right response by targeting those particular emotions. That is why Coke adverts make adverts about family bonding and happiness rather than the taste or quality of the products because they know that this can emotionally engage the viewers.

Storytelling is a strong skill and a timeless one too. Even when you have the slickest technical gizmos at your disposal, you need a good, emotional story at the core to really engage your audience. So, go back to your old storybooks and revive the storytelling culture in your team. A good story can take your brand places!

What stories are you creating for your brands?

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Enakshi Sharma

Digital Storyteller at Brandanew
Enakshi is a storyteller, curator (India Art Fair, 2015), anchor (May Queen, 2015), research associate (Centre for Civil Society, India), a travel writer and a blogger. She's a Digital Storyteller for Brandanew.