It’s a touch ironic that the ancient art of storytelling is now seen as the way forward for many of the world’s most progressive brands. But for very good reason.
Think back to your childhood and you’ll appreciate that us humans are genetically wired to respond positively to stories. That’s why marketers can use them so successfully to connect people with their target audiences.
Stories are 22 times more memorable than facts and figures alone. That’s because storytelling lights up the sensory cortex in the brain, allowing the listener to feel, hear, taste and even smell the events unfolding.
BRING YOUR BRAND TO LIFE
Told well, stories can highlight the human side of your brand and how your product or service touches people’s lives in a meaningful way. You could say it brings your brand to life.
Before you start creating narratives of your own, there is one key rule you need to follow to master the art of storytelling.
Engagement depends on your story being relevant to the lives of your prospects and customers. Stories are less about rational benefits and more about emotional engagement.
That’s not to say you have to actually represent their lives in your communication, but it does mean your target audience must be able to empathise with the characters in your story.
A perfect example of this is the recent and much-lauded campaign from Land Rover, a long-standing client of HPS MM-Eye.
To celebrate Land Rover’s 70th anniversary, they brought to life the extraordinary true story of a small village in the Indian Himalayas where the residents use a fleet of old Land Rovers to transport supplies along treacherous mountain roads.
This charming film shows that the most effective stories are told by people who don’t directly represent the brand. An objective viewpoint can make the story much more credible for the audience than a brand making claims about its own prowess.
The remoteness of the villagers in the Himalayas might well be a long way from the lifestyle of the brand’s target market in the UK, but the feeling that comes from knowing a vehicle can be trusted in the most difficult of conditions is an emotion that will resonate strongly in the Home Counties and beyond.
This example highlights that the more you know about your customers and what motivates them, the better you can engage with them on an emotional level.
This is true of all good stories and is something we can help you with.
REVOLUTIONARY TECHNIQUE TO HELP YOU TELL BETTER STORIES
At HPS, we have developed a revolutionary and effective technique to help make your own storytelling more successful. We’ve called it ThoughtScape™.
ThoughtScape™ taps into the episodic memory to elicit a rich stream of consciousness from customers.
Simple, open-ended questions are asked to draw out a stream-of consciousness response. This is untainted by the pre-defined questions of the researcher, which means there is no danger of leading the witness.
With ThoughtScape™, qualitative data is turned into quantitative data through AI-led forensic coding, feeling and emotion, which is far more enhanced than any other research approach. As a result, we receive emotional measurement and emotional diagnostics. Qualitative data at a quantitative scale.
This customer insight provides the perfect platform for you to create compelling stories, grounded in emotional intelligence.
Another successful example of storytelling comes from our own campaign for Moorfields Private Eye Hospital.
Laser surgery might feel like a cold and clinical sector, but not when you create a ‘real’ story around an individual who has undergone the procedure. Suddenly, you’re able to give customers and prospects a context they can relate to.
STORYTELLING HAS A BIG ROLE TO PLAY IN B2B
You might not think the art of storytelling is so relevant in the hard-nosed world of B2B, but this would be a big mistake. Of course, B2B doesn’t have be boring.
We like to think of B2B as still being B2H (Business to Human) and, whether you’re wearing your suit or your cargo shorts, the basic rules of engagement still apply.
Our recent example for the Healthcare sector of 3M highlights how well making an emotional connection by using storytelling can work in B2B.
CREATE STORIES WITH INSIGHT
Even though they need to tap into an authentic insight, your stories don’t need to be ‘real’.
So, for example, anyone who is part of a couple is likely to find a connection with this humorous and far-fetched campaign from Ikea Singapore, even if they don’t indulge in an endless stream of furniture innuendo with their partner.
If you’ve never thought of storytelling as your key marketing weapon before, you might appreciate some help understanding how best to go about it.
For more details on how to use this ancient art form, together with our revolutionary new ThoughtScape™ research technique, sign up to one of our tailored B2B or B2C Masterclasses below.
BREAKING DOWN THE B2B BUYER'S JOURNEY - DEFINING NUDGE MOMENTS THAT MATTER
FRIDAY MAY 15 2020
Discover the emotional and rational triggers which influence buyers when making their purchasing choices during the buyer journey. How this differs across different buyer behaviours, how the right content mix and buyer insight will deliver a tailored customer experience and ‘nudge’ moments from the very early stages of engagement. We’ll share practical tips and case studies from leading brands to help you understand and improve your customer journey, converting prospects into customers.
Discover the emotional and rational obstacles buyers encounter when making their purchasing decisions during the buyer journey. How the right content mix and buyer insight will deliver a positive brand experience and provide tailored, positive ABM ‘nudge’ moments from the very early stages of engagement. We’ll share behavioural insight, case studies from leading brands as well as practical tips and strategies you can implement to drive increased B2B buyer engagement and ABM performance.
ARTICLE BY DAMIEN FIELD
Managing Director, HPS MM-Eye. Helping you see the world differently.