Why Storytelling Is Important For Businesses
by Nitin Gupta, on Oct 4, 2017 10:04 AM
The one commonality most of us share is that we love to hear interesting stories. It begins at an early age when we start reading stories in our school textbooks and also get to hear them from our parents and family members. We continue to read and hear new stories all throughout our lives and these contribute significantly to forming our perceptions of the world around us. Since we are ingrained to be attentive to interesting stories, it’s logical for businesses to use storytelling as a means to communicate and interact with us. Here are some key reasons why storytelling has become vitally important for businesses in today’s highly competitive marketplace.
Storytelling helps establish an emotional bond: Why do people buy a certain product and not others? Well, a lot of it depends on the emotional connect that people share with a particular brand. Storytelling can help brands develop an emotional bond with their customers, which would eventually help in developing a loyal customer base. It is quite similar to our experience when we meet new people and make friends. We discuss our lives, our problems, joys and sorrows, which in essence is sharing our stories with each other. If we like the stories, we want to hear more and if we do not, we move on in search of more compelling stories. A similar equation exists between brands and their customers. Good storytelling can help develop the right emotional bonds that can last a lifetime. Informal channels such as social media platforms can be effectively utilized to share interesting stories about the brand with the target audience.
Storytelling is supported by empirical evidence: In a study conducted by American researchers, it was found that when it comes to influencing sales, storytelling works better than most other forms of promotional activity. The researchers found that it was easier for people to relate to stories, as compared to a top celebrity endorsing a product or huge discounts or freebies. The trust and confidence that storytelling can help build is incomparable to other forms of promotional, advertising or marketing initiatives.
Our brain responds better to storytelling: Scientific studies have revealed that our brain is hugely responsive to interesting stories. When we are reading or hearing an interesting story, it generates a strong neurological response. At this time, our brain is almost entirely immersed in the story. This is exactly the moment that brands can capture by telling interesting stories to their customers. Every story has three basic components – introduction, problem statement and resolution. As such, stories that would really appeal to the target audience would be about how the brand can solve or has solved the problems of customers.
Stories can make data more palatable: Technical data about a product may be necessary, but it may not contribute to establishing an emotional bond with customers. Intelligently written stories can be used to transform data and specifications into something more palatable for customers. One of the best examples would be that of Apple, which has been utilizing this fine art of storytelling for its iPhone and most other products. The long queues that can be seen at the launch of every new iPhone release are not inspired by data; rather, it’s the compelling stories that carry everything with them including the data.
Storytelling is certainly important for businesses, but it will be effective only when the stories are interesting and delightful. They should also be realistic and honest, which is necessary to build trust and confidence among customers. They should be easy to understand and should be built around a single idea, message or theme. Last but not least, the story should motivate customers to know more and make them feel proud to be a part of the success story.