Let’s be real: We all love stories
Stories are a huge part of what makes us human. We are social creatures, and we have always used stories as a fundamental way to connect with one another ever since the prehistoric ages.
Human beings, as creatures of habit and tradition, hand down lessons and knowledge from one generation to the next. We pride ourselves on leaving a legacy of knowledge for our descendants to utilize. Our ability to learn from our ancestors’ past decisions and use that knowledge to give ourselves an insight to our own problems gives us an advantage rarely found in other species – that of a communal knowledge pool. It is our tradition of storytelling that facilitates this transfer of knowledge.
Therefore, storytelling remains the single most important tradition humans participate till this day.
Storytelling is a Priority for Marketers
Especially for marketers, storytelling is a powerful tool, and the best way for marketers to engage their customers.
Firstly, storytelling enables marketers to develop a deeper connection with the audience. Storytelling is a fundamental human experience that unites people and drives stronger deeper connections. From the earliest recorded history, storytelling was a method used by cavemen to communicate, educate, share, and connect. As an example, think about Subaru’s ads which communicate “love” through a series of ads that establish the car brand as a symbol of caring for those you love. Whether it’s a father caring for his son or daughter, or a parent caring for their beloved pet, the series of ads are more about what the brand represents to the family than the horsepower that the car delivers. By communicating the brand through stories, Subaru is able to elevate the meaning of the brand and better crystalize how it fits into customers’ lives.
Second, storytelling is a powerful method for learning. As marketers, we should always be seeking to learn more about the world we live in, the brands that we represent, and the consumers that we serve. One of the things that are unique about stories is that they transmit knowledge and meaning. We learn from observations, first-hand experiences, and by sharing those experiences through stories. Storytelling can be a powerful tool that enables marketers to understand what is going on in the marketplace and what that means for the customer, consumer, society, brand, and company.
Last but not least, in addition to being an important strategic tool, storytelling can be an important tactical tool that lets marketers engage consumers in a fragmented media world. Because there is such media fragmentation, consumers are not just looking for different experiences but different delivery. Why should a consumer give you their time? Storytelling isn’t just a creative approach to marketing. It gives your consumers a totally different entry to your brand.
Storytelling is a Key Leadership Technique
Moving forward, storytelling is also becoming an essential tool that leaders in organizations need to be equipped with.
Storytelling is often the best way for leaders to communicate with people they are leading. Why? It is inherently well adapted to handling the most intractable leadership challenges of today – sparking change, communicating who you are, enhancing the brand, transmitting values, creating high-performance teams, sharing knowledge, taming the grapevine, leading people into the future.
Storytelling translates dry and abstract numbers into compelling pictures of a leader’s goals. Although good business cases are developed through the use of numbers, they are typically approved on the basis of a story—that is, a narrative that links a set of events in some kind of causal sequence.
Moreover, once we have had one story, we are already hungry for another. We want more, in case it too can transmit the magic of connectedness between the self and the universe.
Ready to take on the challenge to become a storyteller?
Come join us for our upcoming storytelling workshops to give yourself a good headstart!
Storytelling For Managers & Leaders
The Leader as Storyteller Workshop™: Using Storytelling to Connect, Captivate and Influence Your Audience