Once upon a time, there was a chocolate factory in Alexandria, Egypt, whose owner had named it after a stray deer that used to roam near the factory’s playground. The deer died in an unfortunate accident but it’s now an evergreen memory. I hope this answers the timeless ‘What’s better than chocolate?’ question, the answer is chocolate with an emotional story.  

Storytelling has been around for decades, with the evolution of products and consumer preferences, one thing remained constant, people’s fondness of hearing stories.

  According to Fast Company’s research via Forbes, human brains are built to connect with compelling stories.  Around 92 percent of consumers want brands to make ads that feel like a story. As a result, they produce successful content that engages with the targeted audience. An example that illustrates the effectiveness of this strategy, an average US citizen consumes around 100,500 digital words daily.

However, with the abundance of information streams the internet provides, people’s attention span shrunk to the bare minimum. Therefore in 2017, people’s word of mouth or feedback on social media may not suffice.There needs to be a more engaging, memorable way, that enhances the ads’ messages; that is why videos are the natural go-to platform.

The aforementioned study showed that our brains process images 60X faster than words, which demonstrates the importance of showing, rather than telling. Combine storytelling with visual effects and Pouf! Here’s your magic formula for excellent long-term brand love!

But more accurately, how does storytelling affect our brains?

  In an infographic titled ‘’the Science of Storytelling’’, Fast Company illustrated that thanks to the brain’s neural coupling process, listening to stories activate some parts of the brain that allow the listener to turn what he/she hears into personal ideas and experiences.

   The release of dopamine can store emotionally-charged events more accurately. When processing facts, two areas of the brains are activated; Broca and Wernicke. A well-told story can engage many additional areas as well such as the motor cortex, sensory cortex, and frontal cortex.

How can marketers bring this undeniable chemistry to understand and engage their consumers more efficiently

   Well, there are a couple of aspects that companies should cover to enrich their brand personality. Most significantly are empathy and keeping up the thrill. Empathy is a  genuine emotion and will resonate with your target audience smoothly. Before you take this approach, make sure you do your audience research homework to guarantee that you are on the right track.  Thrill, on the other hand, is what is going to keep your fans excited and motivated to take the purchasing action.

ABC’s media specialist, James Lush, listed five key elements for good storytelling:

  1.       Timeliness – don’t underestimate timing as it can be a crucial key in advertising and marketing.
  2.       Relevance – appealing to your target audience is a must.
  3.       Unusualness – stand out from the crowd!
  4.       Troubling – in a good fashion, your story has to be stimulating, comparative, and interesting.
  5.       Human – it’s is easier to love another human being than to love a brand.

 

To conclude, whether you’re providing a daily product or a one-of-a-kind service,  you will find this strategy of great use.  It will certainly alleviate your brand loyalty, as well as digital media interactions. There are lots of successful examples to get learn from, such as, Vans’ documentary series ‘’Off the Wall’’ to inspire athletes and artists or Gillette’s video ‘’Are we Killing the Kiss?’’ which was genius, the grooming care company relating a viral problem with their #1 enemy, facial hair.  

 

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