Harnessing the Power of Stories

“I opened my eyes to the familiar smell of roasted coffee and pancakes. I smiled. 

I went down to the kitchen to find mom pouring coffee on my favorite mug. She smiled as soon as she saw me. Dad was drinking his coffee, smiling at me too. My smile grew bigger. I am home. Finally.”

 

We’re you able to smell that coffee?

That, and for so many things we’ll try to list down today, is one of the many reasons why stories win hearts. And you know what they say, you win them hearts, you win the game.

For starters, our brains are programmed to function and recognize pattern of information and then assign them meaning. So we see things and we create stuff in our head, basically.  Giving meaning to these things prompt us to relate and connect to stories.

 

— Sensory Experiences

For the short sample above, the brain’s sensory cortex is activated when you read the “smell of roasted coffee and pancakes” because it made you smell and somehow made you think of how they taste like. Our brains change dramatically when we hear or watch a story.  

That’s one of the most powerful things a story can do to you – and whether that’s in the word, photo or video format, it simply makes a connection to you by activating something in your brain that makes you experience things.

It’s important to remember to appeal to universal feelings as everyone on the planet can relate to basic human emotions and motivations. Take them on a journey through your stories.

If your brand can tell its story by letting your audience on an experience, it’s on its way to winning.

 

— Stories Influence & Translate to Sales

While it makes us experience things, our brains also prompt us to develop thoughts and opinions on the story being told to us.

Imagine yourself having a vacation on this small island. You’re looking around a gift shop, trying to find small gifts you can give your friends or colleagues back home.

You were looking at these small fridge magnets and you came across this little, weird looking boat made of wood with a white sail on it. You asked the girl working on the shop why does it look that way. And she goes on telling you that it is the small representation of the first boat that ever came to the island, that it was the boat of the first man that ever set foot on this place, giving you a small historical background of the place. The boat magnet costs 5 bucks more than the normal ones.

Now, would you choose that little, weird looking boat with all its rich history behind it over that magnet with the name of the island on it? I bet you would. By giving that small boat magnet to your friends, you’re not only giving your friends a fridge magnet, you’re giving them a story. And we all know you’ll tell its rich story to them as you’re handling over that small memorabilia.

 

— Connect and Make an Impact

The job of every marketer is to give value to your product by making sure you connect well with your audience. To make that connection work, it’s important to have a compelling tale but you have to make sure you know your audience well.

People expect to be entertained, educated, and inspired by brands today. Know the touch points of your audience to effectively tell your story.  Walk in their shoes and try to see how they interact with your brand. These are few things that can help you tell your story.

Words aren’t the only weapons you can use to tell a story. A single image, the color of your logo, the look of your website, your video reel – they all tell a story.

Make sure all of these tell the same message or experience of your brand. Otherwise, you’ll confuse your audience.