Why storytelling matters in marketing.

Thousands of years ago, our prehistoric ancestors gathered around the nightly fire. Huddling close together for warmth, they listened with rapt attention as a tribal elder told them tales of gods and magic, and great hunts of the past. These stories help define us, remind us who we are and where we came from. You might say, storytelling is in our DNA.

Take a look around you. Nearly everything is part of a story. The movie you watched last night. The conversation with your sister. The newspaper is full of them.

They’re all around us. Even now, this blog is telling a story.

But what does storytelling have to do with your brand?

Your brand’s story is part of its personality. Why wouldn’t you let it shine? What’s Red Bull without the extreme sports and stunts? Just another substitute for coffee when you’re feeling a little rundown. Imagine how much less compelling Apple is without the story of Steve Jobs building it from scratch. Storytelling makes these brands and so many others more than corporations. It makes them relatable, relevant, interesting.

Storytelling builds connections.

Studies have shown that our brains are far more receptive to information presented in a narrative structure, as opposed to cold, hard facts. Stories don’t just engage, they stimulate and encourage. They create shared experiences. Why not make your brand part of it?

Stories play on emotions.

Have you seen the ASPCA commercial (trigger warning) featuring abused and neglected pets to the tune of a Sarah McLachlan song? The ASPCA understood that by sharing the stories of these poor animals, they could create a strong emotional pull. Good stories do that.

Whether it’s the happy fun of a McDonald’s ad or the elegant dignity of a Jaguar commercial, each of these pieces creates a mood. Their goal is to encourage the audience to associate that emotion with their brand and vice versa.

Storytelling can help you grow.

The main reason why brands use storytelling is because it’s effective. It helps connect with customers and tells them of the benefits of your product. It differentiates you from the competition. It gives you value.

So get out there. Find your story.  Build it. Share it. And live happily ever after.