The Power of Storytelling

February 10, 2016

Usually, if you’re visiting someone’s website or reading their brochures, you’ll see an About Us page or a bio. However, more frequently these days we see Our Story. This phrase brings a new dimension to a brand as it implies that there’s more to it than facts, figures and contact information. It suggests that there is something to be shared. There’s a journey, an adventure, a personal experience which you can be a part of too.

I’ve put together some facts about why I think the story is such a strong component of success and why it is that storytelling seems to sell.

Stories are a super power. They have been for thousands of years.

Some key reasons why stories are so effective are…

  1. They are memorable.
  2. They are shared.
  3. People give more time to listen to them.
  4. They make you appear more human.
  5. They register in people’s hearts, emotionally and in their minds, rationally.

Stories are a very capable tool in themselves but when it comes to using them to translate your brand, products or services there are a few more things to be aware of. With these few pointers your brand’s story can not only lead that horse to water, it can make it drink.

  1. Make it relevant to what you do.

Remember your end goal is to connect people with your brand and your products/services.

  1. Show your values and beliefs.

What you’re interested in will say a lot about you and people will decide on that basis if they do or don’t want to be involved. Most importantly, make sure you show that you care about your customers and show that they are valued themselves.

  1. Recognise your audience’s values and beliefs

i.e. Give the people what they want. It’s important to recognise who your target audience is. Create a user profile before you begin which outlines their age, their hobbies, their jobs and any other information which could influence their decisions.

  1. Have a beginning, middle and end.

Have a conflict and say how you overcame it. Make it your bildungsroman and captivate your audience. Any feelings of achievement or success will spread to readers and cause a positive association with your brand.

  1. Make it personal.

People will become your friend without even meeting you. They’ll say “hey I know that guy. I read how he built his wood fired oven with nothing but a sharpie and a bin liner. He’s such an inspiration so I want to eat his pizzas for breakfast.” Or something along those lines…

  1. Inspire action.

Close with a call to action. What’s the next step for the reader? How can they get involved with your story? Give them a pointer to buy your products, sign up to your newsletter or just give you a call to have a chat. It’s a way of introducing them to the next chapter or sequel.

Get all of these things right and you’ll form strong and loyal relationships.

A great example of effective storytelling comes from Nike. Nike doesn’t just make trainers they’re also kings of story telling. In a recent campaign, Nike shared customer activities and running achievements on their social media platforms.  This connected them not only with their current customers but also with a round of whole new people who felt inspired by the campaign to go out, get their Nikes on and set their own personal best. They’ve shown they value their customers and they’ve recognised their customer’ values too. People are getting out there and becoming the fit, healthy and active people they’ve always wanted to be. Nike have created a whole tribe of people who are members of the Nike running club, parts of the story.

See how many great stories you can come up with. It might be from when you first started your business, a memory from your childhood or just what happened on your way to work this morning. If you look closely you’ll see our lives are full of them.

Now get out there and tell it.

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