Once upon a time, there was this Entrepreneur. He wanted to find out the power of storytelling in business. So, he did this experiment. He purchased 200 toys that cost an average $6 per toy from eBay and asked bloggers to take part in this amazing social storytelling study. Now, the guy had 200 toys with an intriguing story for each.
He went back to eBay and uploaded these toys with stories. How much do you think he made by adding a simple story? Any guesses. I bet, you cannot. The man could make $25 on average from every toy, just by adding the element of the story. Yes, you might think that people are mad to buy a $6 toy for $25. No, my friend. The only thing that raised the value was a story that was told with the toy.
This is the power of storytelling in business we need to use and share with our customers. Storytelling might seem like an old-fashioned tool, today. But when done with proper planning, it can change the narrative and touch the hearts of our customers. Sure, data can persuade your customer, but if you want your customers to act, trigger their emotions. This is what we will be discussing on this blog.
First, let’s start with the elements of storytelling.
Elements of storytelling
- Reason for your story
- The Hero of your story
- Start with a conflict
- Creation of awareness
- Leaving an impact
Reason for your story
Simon Sinek in his TED talk emphasized on finding ‘why’ of your business first. For instance, if you want to create an eCommerce gift portal, you will start by creating a website so you can sell products. But at first, you need to start why you want to create the business in the first place. For example, my friend who visited the USA for a vacation. He wanted to send gifts to his wife back in UAE. He used a service but that service was not able to convey his emotions for the wife. This gave birth to a gifting portal that made my friend millions for his generations to come.
Now, therefore you need a reason for your story that can resonate with your customers. You need to find that sweet spot where your reason and what customer is looking for aligning together.
- The Hero of your story
You need to treat your customer as the hero of your story. According to Kapost, only 23% of B2B marketers claim to have a customer-centric marketing strategy versus a channel or product-centric strategy.
Start from the backstory. What does the customer want? What is bothering your customer? Use the power of visual storytelling to gain insights of what your user really want.This information will not easily be given, you need to dig deeper to get this kind of info. Use survey, customer feedback, or trend analysis of your customer to know more about him.
In your brand story treat your customer as an antagonist. Here antagonist is a metaphor. To fulfill the need of your customer. Like solving a business problem, or poor time management problem, or create a mobile app for your customer.
Check out this ad from Vanderbilt MBA:
Most MBA programs brag about how good they are or good much market experience they have, here, Vanderbilt MBA turn the customer into a hero and guided the way forward.
Start with a conflict
Would you buy a brand with a tagline “we’re pretty wonderful, buy our stuff.” Of course not. Nobody wants to buy from a brand that doesn’t understand the customer.
To create a conflict, you first need to understand the types of conflict that exists. In storytelling, there are basically 6 types of conflicts.
- Person to person
- Person to self
- Person to technology
- Person to environment
- Person to Nature
- Person to Supernatural
But for the sake of branding, we only need to understand 3 types of conflicts.
Person to person – Here you need to make customer realize that your competition is tough and if you don’t do anything about it (use your service) they will be left behind by their competition.
Person to technology – This makes the customer realize that technology is playing an important part in the growth of the organization. Here you need to state how your service will save the time for your customer or make his life easy.
Person to self – This is the most interesting type of conflict you can create. Here you need to tell the customers how not using your service will make their life static. In this fast phase digital world, your customers will find peace by improving their lives. And the only way to do that is to use your service.
Creation of Awareness
In this strategy, you need to educate and make your customer aware of their need. Check out this Dunkin’ Donuts campaign which makes use of good storytelling to sell their idea.
Dunkin’ Donuts Flavor Radio
For your brand, you need to think of your target market and devise the story behind that specific market.
Leave an impact
You cannot win your customers if you do not give them a reason which impacts their lives. War by Parker – an American brand of prescription eyeglasses is changing lives by selling economical glasses.
Check out their campaign which created ripples in the social media for its authenticity and audaciousness.
War by Parker also donates a large part of their profits to the needy people. This alone makes this brand impactful.
Benefits of Storytelling
- Storytelling Humanizes Your Business – Gives your brand a story that resonates with the everyday life of your customer.
- Got Vision? Get Story –Include your company’s vision as part of your story.
- Spark Change – If your story is not igniting your users to take an action, you need to change the narrative of that story.
- Transfer Your Values Through Story–What are your values? Show convey them in a storytelling format.
Now for the climax…
Every story needs to end. You cannot create a story without a heart-touching story. Just like fiction, your story needs to leave a powerful impact on the lives of your customers. Brands like Charity Water are using impactful stories to humanize themselves with their customers, and in return customers trust them.
If you want to create stories that matter feel free to get in touch with us. We will not only help you create memorable stories, we will guide you through your existing stories to create more impact for your brand.