Storytelling is the most elemental form of human communication. People pass along their brand experiences to others in the form of a story. This is how the human brain processes and defines information. It notes something, pulls up the name, attaches meaning to it and uses that information to define the value of that thing. The definition is framed as a story. Simply, stories are how our brains help us connect the dots and make sense of the world.
Learning how to tell stories is also one of the first cognitive skills we acquire. We’ve all heard small children plead, “Mommy, tell me a story.” It’s because stories are fundamental to how we learn and how we process information about our lives and our world.
We store and retrieve our memories in sequences the same as if they were stories. In many ways, they are. That’s why the essence of human communication is story. To our brains everything is a story. Even a single word provokes thoughts of a story sequence that represents how we define that word, that person or that brand.
The most successful brands tell their stories in a way that people can easily pass along their experience with the brand and convey what it means to them.
We are attuned to getting our most trusted information from our friends and family. We trust the stories they tell us. Studies have shown people are more influenced by what others say than promotional efforts made by advertisers. Cap Gemini reports 71 percent of people claim to rely on word of mouth versus only 15 percent for television. McKinsey and Thompson Lightstone research estimates more than two-thirds of purchase decisions are driven by word of mouth referrals.
Clearly, every brand has a story. The critical question becomes, “How will yours be told?” Our customers become our best advocates when they have a good story, forged with experience, to share with their family and friends. When their experience with your brand makes them feel better about themselves, they want to pass the feeling along to their friends. And their friends want to experience the same feeling. We know those who pass along the most stories, the “Influencers,” share brand and product discussions 27 percent of the time. When the stories are positive, it is the best advertising your brand will ever have. And, in today’s social media world, it may be the only advertising your brand will ever need.
What is your brand’s story? Are you telling it well? Share you experience with us below or Tweet us @Brandtrust.
Does your brand need to tell a better story? Contact Brandtrust today.