Did you know, us humans use stories to make sense of our world and as a way to share that knowledge with others? Throughout history, storytelling has been shown to have the power to engage, influence, teach and inspire listeners. It is through story that our mind evaluates fact and forms a belief. Furthermore, we can gain new perspectives, develop empathy and expand our understanding through story listening. Essentially, we’re hardwired for stories.
Storytelling In Business
Therefore telling your story is a critical part of building your brand and communicating with your audience. It helps to forge a connection with your customers, educate them and create trust. Which is why in 2019 marketers have recognised the need to prioritise better content through storytelling. In contrast to simply listing the features and benefits of a product or service.
And there is both an art and science behind storytelling.
Firstly, you must know your audience and define your core message. Secondly, you must decide what kind of story to tell. Whether that’s your origin story, the eureka moment that inspired your design or a real human impact story. Then it’s time to develop your story. Here are some ways to do that and really engage your audience:
1. Be Authentic
The first and probably the most important rule in telling your brand’s story is to be authentic. In a world of #ad, sponsored posts, celebrity endorsements and paid partnerships, consumers crave authenticity. Audiences love authentic differences and character.
In particular, Millennials and Generation- Zers actively seek out this authenticity. They prefer to see real people rather than models fronting campaigns. They’re not looking for perfection and polished. They want to see people who reflect their own lives.
Furthermore, they favour companies who are interested in racial, gender and income equality as well as environmental issues.
And consumers consider user-generated content the most authentic. One company that uses its customers to tell authentic and relatable stories is Airbnb. They use articles, posts, video and images to show customers who their hosts will be, get a glimpse into their homes and allows guests to get to know them before they arrive. This not only puts their guests at ease but creates an exciting build-up to the trip and in turn creates an authenticity to the experience.
2. Make Your Customer The Hero
Humans love things they can relate to and identify with. And positioning your customer as the hero, while you take on the role as their guide, in the story is a fantastic way to do this.
You could consider including real-life examples of how the hero can overcome a challenge, save resources, save time, acquire more wealth, build a connection or achieve status and self-identity.
LEGO is an example of a company who implements this storytelling strategy. Their ads focus on how their products help cultivate the creativity and imagination of children and young adults. While encouraging their customers, the parents, to help them achieve this. They place the child as the hero in their stories while aligning their messaging to appeal to the parents as their guides.
3. Use Humour
Humour can be a very powerful way of telling a story. It can not only keep your audience interested but has been proven to make it more memorable. Injecting some humour throughout your story can also make your characters more relatable.
Dollar Shave Club is one of the most viral examples of how a new, small business used humour to tell their brand’s story on a tight budget. They used video to create a memorable experience for their audience while persuading them to buy their subscription razor blade products.
Finally, aim to involve your customers and your community in your story as much as possible. Make them feel connected and invested in the story and they will be more engaged. Because ultimately, we are all hardwired for it!
Read more about how you can transform the mundane, complex or inaccessible into something exciting and inspiring in our latest piece Making Boring Sexy.
And if you would like to find out more about how Genius can help you communicate your brand’s story get in touch.