The power of storytelling - and why you should care
Storytelling is without a doubt the most powerful tool in advertising. It taps into the human part of us all, since stories are one of the most fundamental and oldest ways of communicating and making a lasting impression. That lasting impression is exactly why you should use storytelling in your marketing strategy.
The big picture
Stories are great because they have a narrative. Instead of just presenting facts and numbers and saying straight out that it’s good to be a good person, a narrative will have a series of events showing just that throughout the story. Stories teach us from very early childhood and the human brain is simply hardwired to follow and pay attention to good narratives.
Studies show that because emotions are activated through storytelling, we remember the morals and points a lot better. And when you strip down the neuro science behind, two very interesting things happen inside the brain;
- Dopamine -The brain releases dopamine when it experiences an emotionally charged event, making it easier to remember the event and with higher accuracy.
- Cortex activity - When processing facts, two areas of the brain are activated (Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas). A well-told story can engage many additional areas including the motor cortex and frontal cortex as well.
In other words - storytelling simply works in terms of creating long lasting impressions.
Strong and lasting impacts
Stories should be part of your marketing strategy because your audience will recognise, decode and grasp your point quickly, and the feelings you conjure up with your stories will linger and have an impact on a larger scale. Stories affect humans because we are touched emotionally instead of just reacting and processing information with our sensible, clever brains. And it is probably common knowledge by now that a decision to buy is rarely based solely on the hard facts of a product or a brand, but mainly comes from an emotional level.
Communicating the story of your brand or product can be done with various available media; TV ads, billboards and cardboard cutouts in retail are all able to convey a story. They are, however, also quite static as opposed to the dynamics of holographic content in 3D.
A three-dimensional hologram activates the audience’s sense of space, setting off an impulse to lift up an arm and touch whatever is on display. Aiming your advertising toward people’s senses, challenging their grasp of dimensions and creating an illusion of something being there when it’s really not, as well as having people react physically to your product or brand will affect your audience and leave an impact that takes quite a while to fade. An impact that other types of media are not able to create quite as good.
Find the right story
In the end, everything has a story. If nothing else a mundane object such as a door handle has the story of once being a tree in the woods before being taken to a saw mill, on to a workshop where it’s crafted by skilful hands and tools, and ultimately ending up fitting perfectly into someone’s hand as they open the door to a new home.
And your brand has a story too. There’s always a founding myth to use, but there is also the story you have been telling about yourself since the day you started communicating your existence to the world. There are good stories everywhere - you simply have to find them and condense them into the very essence of what you are communicating.
Storytelling is your chance to make an audience empathise with your brand and feel a true connection with you. Stories make people smile and laugh, and they make them open minded and trusting, and when you make them feel good like that, you are closer to them than ever before.