How Storytelling Connects Consumers to Business

A combination of words featuring the word storytelling in the middle.
Being able to tell a story is key to reaching consumers. Source: Google.

Storytelling connects people. When a story is told memories are triggered, which can than translate into emotions associated with those memories and causes one to take action. Furthermore, individuals will experience the story through their own memories. Storytelling is used by marketers to create powerful content that connects directly to consumers. To construct a great story marketers should build around moments of challenge, change, or growth.

One of the most popular campaigns that has a story in which consumers can directly connect with is the #LikeAGirl campaign. The marketing campaign draws on female emotions by revaluating and reliving a moment when someone looks at a female and says she does something “like a girl.” The response by older female consumers is inadequacy. However, the younger females have a significantly different response, most respond with confidence. The message behind the #LikeAGirl campaign is to challenge stereotypes and participate in the campaign through telling their own unique stories. See commercial below for the #LikeAGirl campaign.

Marketers face many challenges in portraying a certain story to a particular market segment. Nevertheless, use of a natural voice can help bring character and emotion to marketing. Its important for marketers to tell authentic stories that a variety of consumers can relate to. Consumers are tired of being sold to and instead want to hear real stories from real people. A new report shows that many companies are investing in internal resources, skill sets, and technologies, which help them move from interrupt advertising to sustained storytelling. Based on a recent poll of 190 U.S. marketers relating to brand transformation, the findings included the following:

  • 58 percent of companies invested in new technologies to help tell their brand stories throughout the past year.
  • Even though companies are starting to invest more in brand storytelling roles such as editorial managers (33 percent) and content marketer (28 percent), advertising managers (59 percent), marketing operations (58 percent) and brand managers (41 percent) are still the most common marketing team roles.
  • 73 percent of marketers claim they are extremely or very effective when telling their brand story.

Patagonia is another company that has drawn attention to consumers through storytelling. Recently the company has included more visual images and sounds to help draw customers into local action for sustainability. Patagonia’s website invites consumers to learn about climbers’ stories, displays vivid photos of adventure, and places natural shots of its apparel products on its page. Through Patagonia’s website, consumers are drawn in and feel the sense of adventure and community.

Companies are becoming more aware of using storytelling to connect consumers to their brand. These companies understand that modern consumers are no longer responsive to the older ways of advertising. However, many marketing teams still lack the infrastructure to partake in storytelling strategies. A key aspect to connecting to the consumer is how a message is communicated. Businesses that want to remain competitive will need to invest in talent to ensure that their brand develops a story that resonates with consumers on multiple levels.

From a marketing management perspective, here are some questions to consider:

  • Find companies that tell a story to consumers. Are their stories effective?
  • Do you think the #LikeaGirl campaign is effective at drawing out consumers emotions? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think it’s important that marketers are good at telling a story?