Once upon a time, in a not so distant land, there lived a man who was unhappy but didn’t know why — this unfulfillment lasted for many years. Until one day, when he found the courage to harness the beauty of his imagination — his mind was suddenly filled with ideas as incandescent as a bottle illuminated by lights, he suddenly had a purpose — and he believed he could change the world with the power of storytelling — now that I have your attention, let’s get right into it.
Have you ever imagined how stories affect your brain? Do you remember how you felt after watching your favourite movie at the cinema?
We all feel some type of way when we hear stories that resonate with us — that’s because stories stimulate our brain in ways that mere facts or figures cannot and that for me, is a beautiful experience.
“Stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone.” — Jennifer Aaker (General Atlantic Professor of Marketing, Stanford Graduate School of Business)
The arc which is the basis for a story’s structure consists of an exposition, a rising action, climax, falling action and denouement or catastrophe.
Stories have the ability to capture attention, by releasing chemicals in our brain that changes our behaviour.
When we hear a story, our brain releases cortisol; a neurochemical that helps us deal with stress. It acts as a warning signal and most importantly helps us focus our attention — then comes the dopamine, which is a pleasure chemical, everyone’s favourite compound — dopamine is the reason why you’re addicted to whatever it is you’re addicted to.
Compelling stories not only triggers our brain to release cortisol and dopamine. It also triggers the release of oxytocin — the same chemical released when a mother births her child, it deals with care, connection and empathy — the more oxytocin released, the more empathy we feel for characters in the story.
Endorphins are also released by the brain when we hear certain stories, it helps to relieve stress or pain and boost happiness. If a story has ever made you happy, then endorphins were at work.
Every brand has its unique story, whether its a personal brand, a local business or a multimillion-dollar corporation.
According to Hubspot, a brand story is a recount of the series of events that sparked your company’s inception and expresses how that narrative will drive your mission today.
Brand storytelling is a very vital piece when assembling your brand strategy, it unlocks the emotional core of your brand and allows your audience to connect with your brand on a personal level — the beauty of neuromarketing.
“In order for something to be meaningful, relying on logic isn’t just enough. We have to connect emotionally as well” — Mark Burgess (Marketing Professor Rutgers School of Business)
Thought leader Simon Sinek once said; “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. The best brands, know how to consistently drive “the why” into every aspect of their communication to unlock the emotional core of their brand and forge deep connections with their audience, that even the best product benefits and features cannot achieve.
Brand storytelling gives your brand a human touch and replaces the traditional boring marketing.
To be a successful brand in the 21st century, your brand needs to have a compelling story that makes people empathize and remember. A compelling brand story can be the key to achieving top-of-mind awareness.
Fundamentally, when customers make an emotional connection with your brand, trust is built in the process.
According to the Harvard Business Review, customers with an emotional connection can boost revenue profitability by 25 to 100 percent more than just satisfied customers — the goal for brands is to have an emotionally connected target audience.
We have established that storytelling is one of the most powerful building blocks for your brand strategy — a brand story can deepen the connection between you and your audience, build empathy and ultimately allow your brand build trust.
Successful brands understand this beautiful neuromarketing element and the power it possesses to change the human behaviour, so they integrate this into every piece of content they produce and every form of communication (internal and external).
To form your brand’s story you have to start with the why — why does your business exist? why should anyone care? Why do you do what you do? — Follow it up with the how — how will you do it? How will you solve problems for people? — drive it home with the what — what do you do?
People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it — Simon Sinek (Author and Inspirational Speaker)
Brand storytelling is a vital aspect of marketing, as it not just has the ability to persuade, influence and motivate people to buy your product or service but also helps you cut through the clutter to show your audience how unique and different your brand is — this ultimately builds brand loyalty.
In a world filled with different brands and businesses that might already be doing something similar to your own business, harness the beauty of your imagination, use the powerful neuromarketing tool of storytelling to your advantage and stand out.
Don’t forget, stories are 22 times more memorable than facts and figures and people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
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