Brand Storytelling: A Powerful Way to Connect with Others
Facts tell, Stories sell! It is an age old well known fact that stories engage readers far faster than features or benefits – stories engage the heart. As children, most of us grew up hearing dramatic short stories with a compelling climax where the hero saves the day and then we may safely drift off to sleep.
As an entrepreneur, writing a well written, short narrative as a biography, will allow readers to ride along with you, get a taste of your experience, and through empathy and imagination, feel that crucial connection while establishing trust.
Whenever you buy something, the choice is either made from the heart, or there will be regret. You might like to think you make decisions from rational analysis, but ultimately, it’s “how will this purchase make me feel?” or “how did I like the person who sold me”?
Sure, there are the outliers, but the role of emotions in consumer behavior is well documented. People want to feel good, people want to bond, and people want to trust! When you use stories to market your brand, they stick in the mind by engaging the empathy/memory centers of the brain while charming the heart. Facts and figures, not so much.
Transparency is the quickest path to trust. Walk your talk and tell your truth. Our vulnerability connects us to each other more often than our perfection. Our willingness to expose a flaw shows courage and sparks empathy. Social researcher, Brene Brown, found that “Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both; it’s engaging. It’s being all in.” When we share an experience through a narrative it can illuminate a truth that a fact cannot; we invite people in, we give them a seat at our table and show all sides of our humanity – we’re vulnerable and transparent. We leave the reader feeling close to the person behind the brand – I know you!
Narratives and metaphors are the color and texture on the canvas of your story. What they make someone feel triggers a biological response and releases the hormone Oxytocin, the empathy molecule. It is a short-lived hormone, often released during breastfeeding, sex and even a hug, it connects us and allows us to trust one another.
Neuro-economist, Paul Zak, studied the use of stories in brand marketing and found that “Stories are powerful because they transport us into other people’s worlds but, in doing that, they change the way our brains work and potentially change our brain chemistry — and that’s what it means to be a social creature”. When oxytocin is released, our ability to be empathic spikes, we feel more connected and trust buying the product.
If you’re in the wellness, personal growth, or the coaching industry, you are selling YOU. What you decide to tell the world about yourself will attract like-minded customers. Therefore, your programs and products should be considered secondary to featuring YOURSELF. Illuminate your experience with inspirational stories that cause oxytocin to flow and watch your ROI.
I have been writing narrative portraits for wellness professionals that begin on the Home Page and lead to the About Me page. This solidifies the relationship before a customer decides if a program and product is a good fit. Write a story as your bio or have me write it for you! Here are some examples.