We talk a lot about storytelling in marketing, but what’s the meaning of it all? With one simple story – the right story – you can turn an unsuccessful business into a success, and a successful business into a behemoth of customers and sales.
Stories are 22 times more memorable than fact and figures alone. And our neural activity increases five times when listening to a story. Storytelling lights up the sensory cortex in the brain, allowing the listener to feel, hear, taste and even smell the story.
And because consumer attention is the ultimate commodity, it’s more important than ever to tell the right story.
Since the best stories are often not your own, Land Rover tells their customers’ stories. They find people who depend upon the Land Rover vehicle – such as a team of local transport drivers in the Himalayas – and share their remarkable stories.
IKEA uses puns and humor while sharing stories of how their products improve the private lives of their customers. They shared funny stories of how their products are used in the bedrooms and bathrooms of customers with tremendous success.
Sanlam Bank educated South Africans on the importance of saving money by filming the trials and tribulations of a young professional who got paid only in rand coins. These coins were worth about 7 cents in US dollars or .34 pounds sterling. Combining the story telling with valuable personal finance advice earned the video series 900,000 South African views on YouTube and generated 74 million media impressions.
Here’s how to get into the right mindset to uncover your own story. And guess what? It’s in the form of a story…
This guy is walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, “Hey you, can you help me out?” The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
A priest comes along, and the guy shouts up, “Father, I’m down in this hole, can you help me out?” The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
Then a friend walks by. “Hey Joe, it’s me, can you help me out?” And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, “Are you crazy? Now we’re both down here!” The friend says, “Yeah, but I’ve been down here before, and I know the way out.”
Be the friend to your customers. Jump in the hole with them. Let them know that you’ve been in that hole before, but you know the way out. Tell them your story, show them how it parallels their own story, and then show them the solution.