Remember that great teacher you had at school? The one who influenced you then, and who still makes an impact on your life today? They may have pushed you to reach your full potential, helped you bring your imagination to life, or given you guidance and positive role models to look to. I believe the secret to great teaching is simple – it’s about making personal connections with students through storytelling. If you think about it, the best teachers were the ones that told stories that helped you remember what you learned better.
The most gifted teachers’ have an ability to weave narrative into people’s lives, to truly captivate classrooms in the present and in the long-term by making the ordinary significant. And this is something that brands can learn from – telling inspiring stories reflects and reinforces proposition but also helps customers remember and understand your value.
Emotional storytelling is a progressive marketing strategy that enables brands to grow revenue and customer retention. Why? Because a story that embodies human truths and challenges presents an experience that resonates with customers. Successful storytelling means brands can create a shortcut to show how they relate to who we are by telling the world the very reason their business exists, why they developed their product or service and why they do what they do for their audience.
A brand story is more than just your ‘about us’ page on your website. It’s the feeling your brand gives customers during their experience of ‘you’. It’s what makes customers listen and keep coming back for more. When a brand connects with its customers’ emotions, the return on that connection is priceless.
To achieve worthy brand positioning that’s authentic, you need a strong agenda of humanity and connection. And by that, I mean showing a true understanding of the different markets, cultures, and climates your customers play in.
For example, we recently undertook some work for a condom brand that’s looking to get more women to buy condoms to take charge of their sexuality. The brand was coming up against obstacles when presenting to male investors who didn’t get the story they were presenting, so we helped them go back to the drawing board to avoid any feminist or alienating messages, and instead turn it into a story of empowerment. The difference in how the story was received was phenomenal.
Another one of our client’s, Workshare (the high-stakes document company) approached us to reposition its ‘Transact’ product which allows users to log onto an online portal and share, comment, and amend important legal documents – helping legal firms get to closing bible faster. What we saw was junior employees spending a tremendous amount of time gathering legal documents together which was an ineffective use of talented people. So we presented a story that showed legal firms they could close cases faster, with fewer errors by freeing up the most talented people in the business by embracing collaboration.
Storytelling is channel-agnostic and people-centric. Remember that, and fit everything you do into your broader narrative, and you’ll inspire to motivate change, encourage more purchases or your product or service – the desired outcome of your story.