Perhaps there is no more powerful way to captivate your audience than with emotion, and one of the oldest and most effective ways to do this is through storytelling.
Humans feel this incredible need to be connected to others, and brands that find ways to tell their stories in a way that their audience can relate to are the ones that consumers seem to gravitate towards. Storytelling is also a great way to position your brand as a memorable one in the minds of your audience.
As you take a look at your own branding strategy, ask yourself... Are you using storytelling to engage your audience and connect at an emotional level?
Publix, a Southern-based grocery store chain, is an example of a brand that uses storytelling well to really hit home with its audience. Sure, Publix could tell you what a great brand they are by sharing statistics and numbers about how fresh their produce is and how wide of a selection of inventory they offer. But would these details really stick with the grocery store's audience? Probably not.
Instead, Publix takes a different branding approach through storytelling, which has proven to be an incredibly successful marketing strategy for this grocery store chain. Every year, Publix develops a series of commercials that tell different stories its audience can relate to, and all of these commercials do a great job creating an emotional connection between the audience, the message, and ultimately, the brand.
Starbucks is another example of a brand that has successfully engaged its audience on an emotional level. For example, the coffee chain's new texting commercial hits on the relatable hot point that texting is inferior to actual face-to-face real life interactions. The brand also created an Instagram marketing strategy that deepens the connection with its audience by sharing actual customer images of its coffee. Through Starbucks' unique branding strategy, it has amazingly been able to transform coffee from an ordinary commodity into a $5-8 splurge.
When it comes to engaging your audience on an emotional level through storytelling, you have to help you audience feel something, whether it's chills, laughter, or tears. When you can evoke an emotional response from your audience, they will remember your brand forever and how it made them feel.
If you want to use storytelling as a way to better engage and connect with your audience, here are some helpful tactics to embrace:
Subtle Reminders Go A Long Way
As humans, we associate emotions with experiences, and we naturally connect experiences with physical things. The more descriptive you can be in painting a picture in your audience's minds, the more likely they will be able to build a connection with your story. Referring back to the example above, Publix did a good job at very subtlety showing their products throughout the commercial... just enough to remind you who's behind your emotional roller coaster.
Surprise Endings Never Hurt
In a good story, there always seems to be some kind of tension, drama, or some type of surprise that your audience wouldn't expect. If you want to be relatable to your audience, this unexpected hardship could be an issue that they are likely dealing with. A good storyteller lays the foundation of the story by starting out slow, building up to a climax, and ultimately arriving at a resolution. Give your audience a reason to want to stay tuned to your story.
Involve Your Audience
To get your audience involved in the story, you need to transition from writing or talking to them to communicating with them. When you're telling a story, you're relying on your audience to use their imaginations to experience every part of it. As you paint the picture for them with your words, they're building images of the story in their heads, which ultimately builds a connection with your brand as they are experiencing the story with you.
If you want to deepen the connection between your business and your audience, storytelling is one of the smartest branding decisions that you'll ever make. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you to better connect on an emotional level with your audience.