Every happy relationship consists of many moments spent together, shared experiences, and adventures, the best of which become stories to tell your grandchildren. Likewise, stories are the best way to create and develop your brand. People will not remember facts, numbers or features. But they will remember exciting and moving authentic stories. Or, as American poet and singer Maya Angelou says, “They will remember how you made them feel.”
Neuroscientists believe that listening to stories enhances people’s neuro-cognitive abilities. When people are emotionally involved, they can identify better with your brand and understand your values. Stories speak to your customer’s feelings and create an emotional affinity, allowing the more rational arguments to be heard. Emotion is what really drives our purchasing behaviours and buying decisions are always the result of a change in the customer’s emotional state. When you connect with customers’ emotions, the payoff can be huge. So if you want to win your customers, start talking to their heart.
One of the most powerful tools for creating emotions in your customers is storytelling. In an era of information overload, the only thing that truly sets you apart is your story.
Stories are powerful tools
Storytelling provides a human face to a brand and helps create an emotional relationship with it. Stories are powerful tools for attracting attention, and storytelling is a notable business skill, which enables you to interact with your customers on an emotional level, offering inspiration, motivation, as well as an opportunity to educate yourself. In addition, storytelling makes potential customers subconsciously choose products and services that tell such stories which fit their lives, dreams and wishes.
A story of how your brand came to life, your customer’s real stories, exciting stories in product development are more valuable than a well-crafted advertisement.
But the story alone is not enough. It also needs to be told and shared.
Stories can be told and developed on different platforms, but it is essential to think about the experience of the people who are told the story and whether and how they can tell it to others and add to it.
Good storytelling skills have never been as vital as they are today. Storytelling is a great way to stand out, communicate your brand, introduce it to others, and build emotional bonds. The purpose of the story is to appeal to your target group and convey your values and goals through it.
One of the most critical qualities in sharing your story is authenticity and relevance. Still, it is also important to deliver the right message to the right people at the right time. Once you have created the story, developed it and thought about sharing it, your next step is to plan how to keep it updated. When working on this task, be sure to think about possible user-generated content. Then, when you find a way to make it work for you, it offers you an incredible amount of opportunities.
Last but not least, you have to create a strong content plan to produce engaging content. In the information society where a tremendous amount of different content is consumed, it is crucial to find the format, place and time that appeal to your target groups. It must match the image you are creating and be appropriate for the channel you are using. You need to offer real stories and real value to your followers, not bombard them with your product or service all the time. Also, don’t keep to one type of media – use pictures, videos, graphs and other styles and do it consistently.
Storytelling is the ultimate tool of persuasion. You can create an iconic brand by designing and constantly developing your unique story, telling it and adding to it and keeping it updated. Brands, as well as individuals who tell stories –emotional and genuine stories- connect with their customers on a far deeper level than their competitors. So what your story would be? And how would you make your customers fall in love?
About the author
A business strategist at a multiple-awards winning social media agency, certified executive coach, personal branding expert, and co-author of the book on personal branding The Brand Named You.