What is storytelling, anyway?
It’s a Thursday night, 11.30pm. You’re curled up on the couch and have been for the past two hours reading.
The bulb in the lamp closest to you isn’t giving off quite enough light to read comfortably and your eyes are strained.
You shun the thoughts of getting up to turn on the main lamp – the switch is all the way on the other side of the room.
Your toes are cold – the heat’s just gone off. You dig them into the space between the cushions and the back of the couch to get some extra warmth.
You have to wake up at 6.30am tomorrow - but you stay put.
So what is it that makes reading a good book such a pleasure?
When you read a good book, you’re totally engrossed in the scene.
You can feel the grass, saturated with morning dew and sticking to the sides of your shoes. You can hear the light breeze that rustles through the tree branches a few feet away, and the sound of dogs playfully growling and racing to and fro.
You can close your eyes and inhale the rich earthy scents of new grass, early blooming flowers and budding leaves. You’re immediately transported to being in a park in the middle of spring.
Storytelling v’s The FactBomb
The park scene could be described in a few words (“You’re in a park…”).
Instead, telling it as a story is a more powerful approach because the author has provided the tools necessary for the reader to form an emotional connection with the information – by allowing them to picture and feel the scene.
A carefully crafted brand story can do exactly the same thing – its purpose is to help people connect with a brand by giving them a deeper sense of the brand’s purpose and values rather than just delivering facts.
People have varying mix of rational and emotional responses. When we make a decision to interact with a brand, we’re making it first on an emotional level. It’s the part that you just ‘do’ or ‘know’.
Instead of spelling out your argument, consider the language you use. This could be achieved by using rational language – such as direct, action orientated verbs, or by using more emotive language to conjure up images of feelings or ideas.
Rebecca’s Brand Story
The cool January air cold caught in Rebecca’s throat as she raced towards the platform and jumped on the train amidst the beeping of the closing doors. Another morning, another commute.
Day after day for sixteen years, she had watched as emails filled her inbox in a succession of pings and bold subject lines. Requests given in thirty-second breaths littered with corporate buzzwords. Work was completed, new projects began, colleagues came and went.
Rebecca saw her fast-paced world in fast forward. She dreamt of change. Changing her focus. Changing her career. Changing the world. To break the pattern and find an opportunity to do something she believed in – and help others do the same.
She realised something – she didn’t need to wait for someone else to do something. She could help give smaller businesses owners the help they needed to to take their brands to the next level, by giving them access to the same tools that big businesses took for granted.
Six months later, Five Brand was born. Rebecca no longer dreamt of change. She lived it – and is helping others do the same. Because the power to create is in everyone’s hands.
Psychology is important to reach your customers
Long, short, active, passive – it doesn’t matter. You need to really know your audience, as well as yourselves, to create the perfect brand story. Then you need to challenge your rational brain and connect on an emotional level.
The perfect brand story can feel like a risk. But a necessary one to make you stand out from your competitors and more importantly, reach your audience.
Find out more about finding and reaching your audience in our next blog post – ‘Who is your audience’.