The Best Way to Approach Storytelling in Marketing
Marketing experts have been telling us about the power of great stories for a long time, and the advice you’ll get from Chair 10 Marketing is no exception: you should you be using stories on your webpage and in your marketing materials.
The cardinal rule is simple. Be sure your stories’ messages are integral to your brand. A lack of integration is evident when marketing misappropriates or apparently trivializes a social cause. Remember when Pepsi came under justifiable fire for its hamfisted invocation of Black Lives Matter?
If your brand supports important work in social responsibility, by all means, tell the story. Connect the dots to social goals that your brand helps promote. Just be careful not to use a message that your brand doesn’t integrate. That’s really the biggest “don’t” in storytelling for your brand.
Connecting With People: Branding Beyond Marketing
Today, many people want to support a brand that’s compatible with their values. Business ethics is evolving to meet expectations. Hence, the rise of the B Corporation, which allows a for-profit corporation to make strategic decisions not only to maximize wealth for its stakeholders but also advance altruistic goals.
Good business sense and social outreach have dovetailed. It’s good to lift people up so they can strive to reach their own potential which leads us to the big how-to-do-storytelling-right point: this isn’t really about your brand. It’s about your audience. Can viewers get caught up in the storytelling because they sense a bit of themselves in the plot?
Whatever values the story might highlight, can the audience understand the brand’s stake in the issues as real and substantive? If so, the story starts to mesh with the viewer’s own hopes.
What About Storytelling for Brands Without That Social Connection?
Got a buttoned-up legal or tech brand that wants to do storytelling?
Rather than stretching to make the brand connect with a cause:
- Tell the compelling story of one of the brand’s founders. Find common ground with the viewer’s personal striving.
- Connect the brand to the solutions it offers to people. Making others’ lives just a wee bit better counts for a lot in our world.
OK, so let’s tie this back. People appreciate knowing a company can elevate their lives, while seeing themselves in the picture.
PS: If the brand is not yet thinking about sustainability policies, suggest it! Striving for a smaller footprint, sharing information about how it’s done—this makes connections with people’s concerns about our resource-constrained world.
People Love to Focus on Stories. Here’s Why.
We’re basically hard-wired to love a good story. No, that’s not hyperbole. Neuroscientist Paul Zak examined blood samples from story audiences and found that a good story stimulates our brains to release neurochemicals. The plot thickens, and the brain releases cortisol.,The stakes in the story rise, and, if the mind relates to the main character, it releases oxytocin. And the brain just loves a happy ending: enter dopamine! This suggests that the viewer needs to identify with your story’s character and root for a good outcome. In this way, a story connects minds.
No wonder a good storyteller can take a brand to a new level.