Are you sitting comfortably? Good, then we’ll begin…
Humans are hard wired to respond to stories, we have been sharing stories for over 40,000 years from Beowulf right up to Harry Potter. Stories have the power to inspire us, to enthrals and take on magical adventures. They can also help us to understand big ideas and connect emotionally with each other. We tell stories to share experiences, to empathise and communicate shared values. Stories are incredibly powerful tools for communicating a message, when something connects with the listener on an emotional level then they are more engaged with it.
Two of my favourite business books Built to Sell (John Warrilow) and The Go-Giver (Bob Burg & John D Mann) both communicate their message through a story and as a result they have stayed with me for much longer than the dry theories of dreary marketing textbooks.
I came across this rather splendid infographic from quicksprout and I thought I would share it. It demonstrates just how powerful stories are when it comes to engaging and persuading people.
At the core of brand building is storytelling, the way that you share the story of why your business exists and the mission that you are on – your WHY. Another facet of storytelling in marketing is how much a products value will rise if a story is attached to it. According to Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker of significantobjects.com:
“Stories are such a powerful driver of emotional value that their effect on any given object’s subjective value can actually be measured objectively,”
They carried out an experiment whereby the bought a load of cheap items from charity shops and created fictional stories around the objects in a variety of voices and styles. They were able to transform unremarkable low-value objects into significant objects that people were willing to pay on average 2,706% more for.
The story here is not that all marketing is lies and that made up stories will sell any old tat for more than it is worth but the fact that creating an emotion connection within the mind of the consumer or prospect will certainly increase the perceived value of your product or service.