Great brands start with great stories and great stories leave a lasting impression. According to Fast Company, our memories thrive off storytelling.
The publication stated, ‘It’s far easier for us to remember stories than the cold hard facts.’ This claim is supported by a study conducted by Jennifer Aaker, a marketing professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
In the study, Aaker’s students were asked to give a one-minute pitch to their classmates. Afterwards, the audience was asked to write down what they remembered from each presentation. The results speak to the power of storytelling, as only 5% of the class recalled a statistic, while 63% remembered the story.
‘Our greedy little brains are hungry for a good story, so if you want to make the sale, forget the data and make a personal connection,’ said Rachel Gillett (Fast Company).
In a cluttered environment, stories help drive recall, making them critical to building any successful brand, whether for a product, a service, or a sports team. To become a great marketer you need to become a great storyteller. Just designing a great product is no longer enough. How brands present products and offerings creates real intrigue and demand.
We as human beings crave connections and have since the dawn of time gravitated towards them. If you had to read the words ‘New York’ your brain immediately assimilates the sounds, smells and emotions related to whatever memory structures your brain has created from those two words. Similarly, hearing the name of a favourite author, actress or musician will bring several associations. It’s no different with brands.
Some brands when recalled, will evoke very positive or very negative associations, based on your experiences with those brands, but how many brand stories do you recall? In reality, probably not many.
As marketers, we need to be cognisant that we have very few instances to really connect with consumers. During these moments, we can connect by telling stories that use various emotions like humour. Ads, images and sounds that make us laugh are memorable, as are ads that make us sad, shock us or leave us wanting to hear more of the story.
Being relevant also means being memorable – as consumers, we’re in the market for different things at different times. An ad that answers a product or service need that I have right now is more likely to be remembered than a piece of communication that has no relevance in that specific point in my life.
What about the brand’s logo – does it have distinctive assets, shapes, colours? How does it fit into the story you as a brand are trying to tell? These are all considerations that form part of great storytelling – and the better your story, the stronger your brand.
So – what’s your story?
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