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Brands need to provoke conversations through stories

The concept of storytelling is as old as the human civilization itself and yet as novel as the latest book you purchased from the book store. When I was a kid, my grandmother used to tell stories of Gods, villagers and other fables. My dad would narrate demon stories and my mom taught us the nuances of relationships through her beautiful stories. Each one had a distinctive style of narrative and a unique panache of transporting us to different worlds. Come to think of it, how life would have been without stories. Stories of love, stories of loss, stories of life, stories of yearning, stories of war, stories of reunion, stories of brands, stories, stories galore.

Why is story telling an intrinsic part of our culture? Is it because stories establish an emotional -connect and triggers a call to action in the form of a response. Interestingly, this has been the crux of most marketing theories. These days, you go to any marketing forum / symposium / seminar, there is a session on ‘storytelling’. In this blog I have attempted to recreate the art of storytelling as a marketing strategy.It is imperative to build marketing content to develop deeper emotional connections with audiences through storytelling. Now if this is done, your battle is won. Your listeners/audience (consumers) will automatically take your story ahead. The fact is that consumers can generate more messages than the brand can.

Brand owners need to realize that they don't own their brands, their consumers do. It is not possible to separate the brand’s messages from “technology” and “social networks”. They work as a facilitator or multiplier if the story has struck the chord.Most successful brands earn disproportionate share of popular culture by provoking conversations through stories. They create ideas and stories that are contagious and achieve business objectives by catering to consumer interests through stories that are created on the basis of content excellence.

Now if that was not enough Science has its own explanation of why storytelling evokes sure shot responses. When we hear a well told story, our brain releases a hormone called ‘dopamine’ which makes us emotionally charged and help us recall the story accurately at a later stage. Interestingly, the listener turns the story according to his/her own ideas and experiences when they hear it. This process is called ‘neural coupling’.

Source: Adam Weinroth in the Science of Storytelling

Science and Logic put together is a sure shot formula for brands to opt for effective storytelling technique. Next time, you hear a client say “We want a Big Idea”, ask them if they have story that can touch hearts? If not, help them create that story because all big ideas start from a tiny thought that can go places