What’s your story in your brand strategy?
Think back to something important in your life. There is a story there in your memory isn’t there?
You may not remember all the facts and figures. But you remember the story — what you were doing when it happened, who was involved, how you felt and how it changed your life.
Now consider how you think and why you care about certain things. Chances are you think the way you do because of a story somebody told you.
We’re hardwired to remember, think and communicate in stories.
If somebody has a story that has some impact on you, your brain will develop thoughts, opinions and ideas that align with those of the storyteller.
Yuval Noah Harari, the bestselling Israeli author and thinker, says the ability to tell and relate to stories is what separates us from other species and enables us to get along with each other.
“The real difference between us and chimpanzees is the mysterious glue that enables millions of humans to cooperate effectively. This mysterious glue is made of stories, not genes,” he says.
Harari, author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, says our unique trait over other animals is about the ability to create and believe stories. “All other animals use their communication system to describe reality. We use our communication system to create new realities.”
When we tell stories that click with our audience, the brains of the storyteller and the listener synchronize, according to Princeton psychologist Uri Hasson: Telling a story can “plant ideas, thoughts and emotions into the listeners’ brains,” he says.
And all this learned advice translates into a simple truth that applies strongly in the marketing world: Facts tell. Stories sell.
Remember this before you spend thousands of dollars in your next marketing plan on stats, graphics and elaborate PowerPoint presentations that don’t get around to what is most important: What’s your story?
When you tell a great story, you change the way your audience thinks about and reacts to your brand.
So how do we tell a great story?
Great stories position your customers as the main characters, and even change the way they think and feel. This is why storytelling is such a powerful marketing tool.
Surprisingly, though, a lot of branding out there isn’t in an accessible story format. Too many marketers let the facts and features get in the way of a good, saleable story.
When customers see themselves as characters in your story, they’ll be more likely to feel understood, adopt your way of thinking and seek the happy ending that your product or service offers.
This is your brand story. Make it part of your strategy.
So, what’s your story?