If you were to ask the average person about the last time they told someone else a story, chances are there wouldn’t be able to recall such an instance. The thing is though, each and every one of us tells a thousand different stories week in and week out as technically speaking anything we communicate to any other person with regard to something that has, will, might or probably will not happen, we are to some extent telling a story.
From a marketing perspective, storytelling has a genuinely insurmountable amount of power the likes of which isn’t tapped into nearly as comprehensively as it should be. More often than not, when we tell stories to other people we do so with the subconscious intention of bringing them around to our way of thinking and to seeing the event/scenario being discussed through our own eyes. Needless to say, this is technically the precise goal of the modern marketer for whom the ultimate target is that of bringing their target audience members around to their way of thinking.
When you think about it, putting together a pitch for any given product or service is to a certain extent a lot like telling a story. In this instance, the story you’re telling basically communicates the way in which you have identified a problem or a need, you have invested your heart and soul in creating the ideal solution and are now being kind enough out of the goodness of your heart to bring this solution to your perspective customers. This is essentially the opposite of the completely inept approach to pitching a product whereby the brand basically says “Here we are, now buy this!” without giving their target audience members any real reason to do so.
The thing is though, the concept of storytelling as a marketing technique goes far beyond the simple pitch itself and has the potential to work wonders in terms of brand boosting and reputation management in general. The simple fact of the matter is that while brands, businesses and indeed individual names are easily forgotten, stories are remembered long-term. What makes a story so powerful and therefore worth telling is the way in which it has the unique ability to trigger the building of an emotional bond with the reader which in an ideal situation will become a bond between them and your business.
You’re One of Them
In terms of how to go about the process of storytelling for brand promotion in general, it’s technically better to start at the end and work your way backwards. In this instance, the ultimate goal is just tell a story which effectively gets across the point that there’s really nothing different between you and your target audience members. You share the same values, the same opinions, the same needs and indeed the same desires – all the reasons in the world why they would want to both trust you and do business with you.
As such, it’s a case of taking your own back story and using artistic license when and where required to tell a story of a brand that well and truly resonates with its target audience. Of course it’s important to acknowledge the fact that there is a huge difference between embellishing elements to create emotional bonds and completely fabricating your entire business history simply to curry favour – the latter never being a good idea.
But above all else, never forget that every effective story consists of three parts – a beginning, a middle and an end. So whether it’s a product pitch or inspirational story regarding your business background, show them where the idea came from, how it became a reality and where it stands now by way of its relevance and importance.