Harvard Business School professor, Gerald Zaltman famously found that 95% of the purchase decision-making process takes place in our intuitive subconscious, and is rationalised afterwards by our conscious minds. Is your brand utilising the art and science of storytelling to increase sales?
Imagine that two businesses are selling the same product on the same platform within the same price range. What makes a potential customer choose one over the other? The answer lies in our ability to tap into an essential element of human behaviour, and one that is often overlooked in the commercial sphere. Whether they realise it or not, people automatically seek out – and respond to – stories. It’s literally written into our genetic coding: since the beginning of time, human beings have recounted stories to express, entertain, and educate. So how can they be used to connect with your audience and grow your brand?
When we speak about storytelling in marketing, we’re not weaving once-upon-a-time tales with long-winded plotlines. We’re also not talking about corporate social responsibility or day-to-day happenings in your business. In a commercial landscape where almost every industry is saturated with cold, homogenous content bombarding consumers from all angles, storytelling is an extremely powerful marketing tool. It humanises your brand and creates a cohesive narrative structure to your content by establishing your brand’s purpose and values.
This is where the largely emotional process of decision-making, and commercial storytelling, intersect. When marketing their services, most businesses focus on explaining ‘what’ they do and fail to communicate ‘why’ they do it – beyond turning a profit. This ‘why’ is what we call the brand’s purpose, and neglecting to establish this at the beginning of a brand’s journey puts it at a significant disadvantage to its competitors. Used effectively, this tool has the demonstrated potential to establish a unique relationship with your customer and foster brand loyalty by creating an instinctive connection that can’t be forged through numbers, logic or charts.
This process also includes defining your brand values, the set of principles that guide all communications and help establish your brand identity. All of these elements come together to build an absolutely critical pillar of marketing that ensures both initial and repeat business: consistency. This in turn cultivates trust in your audience, which makes them more likely to connect and engage with your brand.
So – we may like to think that we make business and purchase decisions based purely on logic. However, as we have established, history and science say otherwise. In order to effectively tap into the selling potential of storytelling then, we must first establish an authentic and engaging brand story, brand purpose and brand values – which forms the blueprint for all subsequent content as part of a harmonious wider communication strategy. The effectiveness of this technique can be seen in the success of every major instantly-recognisable brand, from Coca Cola to Apple to Nike to Disney. These titans of industry, although varied in their product offerings, have only these elements in common: a concrete brand story, an iron-clad commitment to their values, and unwavering consistency in their communication strategy. It’s a failsafe process that has time and time again proven to drive engagement, loyalty, and sales. Is your brand taking full advantage of the incredible potential of storytelling?
Creating and growing professional brand and communication strategies is what we do best: contact us today to find out how we can help your business reach new heights.