People tend to remember stories more than they remember facts because they create emotional reactions that people can connect with. Stories can create change, and can bring brands to life. Stories motivate, persuade, inform and inspire.
As Michael Margolis, Author of Believe Me, says “Humans are not plain, rational beings. We seek experiences that spark our imagination and kindle the spirit. Stories are the pathway in.”
Imagine sitting in a conference listening to speakers describing how they established their business. One speaker talks about the steps they took, ie registered the business, got a website and printed a business card. The other a heart-felt honest story about the trials and successes they went through to build a business. I know which one I would remember and relate to.
In the online world, what we do is tell our story. That is all we are doing – and that is why storytelling is critical for your personal brand – and your company’s brand.
“Storytelling is our most basic technology, evolved through twenty-first-century innovation. Whether you’re trying to Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube your way into popular consciousness, storytelling is still at the core of all effective communications.”
“We are fast approaching a tipping point in storytelling. The means of story production have been democratised. If you have a story to tell, the internet provides unlimited, affordable, and easy platforms for sharing your story with the world. Of course, if you want to get people’s attention, you better have a really good story to tell. Technology is just the means, not the end in itself,” says Michael Margolis.
For brands, Annette Simmons, author of The Story Factor: Inspiration, Influence, and Persuasion Through the Art of Storytelling says “People don’t want more information. They are up to their eyeballs in information. They want faith—faith in you, your goals, your success, in the story you tell…Once people make your story their story, you have tapped into the powerful force of faith.”
Tom Durel, former CIO /SVP, Blue Cross Blue Shield and former CEO , Oceania says that “When you’re conversing with coworkers, customers, or investors, the richness and meaning of your story is what people really buy. Everybody thinks it’s the return on investment that you’re selling…but it’s really the story about ROI that an investor takes away.”
“Consumers want a story that goes beyond the mundane, and reminds them of what’s bigger. The most innovative and memorable brands are rooted in this sacred knowledge—using the senses, mystery, and intrigue to give us something remarkable to remember,” says Michael Margolis.
Seth Godin Author, Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us says “Great stories agree with our world view. The best stories don’t teach people anything new. Instead, the best stories agree with what the audience already believes and makes the members of the audience feel smart and secure when reminded how right they were in the first place.”
A story is brought to life through visual identity, employee or customer stories and great content that creates both a rational and emotional connection. Celebrating success and recognising heroes is the best way to inspire and motivate others – and to build a constantly evolving, living story.