Throughout time, stories have served as a great way to create impact and to deliver messages, fables, and lessons that need to be heard.
Right from the time we are children, we are told stories to help us understand different values and worldly perspectives. Stories are an engaging form of communication that has enticed people for centuries.
Emotions play a significant role in storytelling. Compelling narratives can make us feel things we never imaged, and they also enable us to relate and connect to characters and people in more profound and unique ways. From this, we feel and see the vast impact that stories and good narratives have on us in how we communicate and send messages. Incorporating vivid and engaging storytelling into advertising and marketing communication is a must and is something that the smarted brands all over the world do.
The main aim of advertising a product is to create a lasting impression on the customers, to help them make their purchasing decision (ultimately making the answer a resounding Yes) with storytelling playing a significant part in the customer journey.
The impact of a good story
Over the past few years there have been several brands that have genuinely managed to; pull on our heartstrings, make us question our lives and the people and things around us.
An example of this is from Publix (a grocery store chain located in Florida) who created a commercial/brand story that stands as a great example of just how to take something every day and use your brand values and create a positive emotional experience through a good narrative and storytelling. Publix wanted to make their viewers reflect on the people that help them through life, and most importantly the value of family.
While one would not think that a grocery store could genuinely make them cry, the narrative of a father encouraging his son through the years of his life surely created a significant impact on the customer base. Even though the brand was a relatively smaller chain, the advertisement created a substantial impact on audiences around the world. The imagery of the ad also plays a significant role in the story and helps the brand establish their keynote. Throughout the ad, viewers can see various bits of food all being kept, or eaten at different instances. This causes the viewers to focus on the story, but also note the products that brands are trying to showcase.
Why storytelling can make a difference
One of the biggest reasons why stories tend to engage customers more than tagline advertising is because of the reliability that they instill. When a customer watches an advertisement that they identify with, they immediately place themselves in the protagonist’s shoes. This makes them feel like they are experiencing the emotions that the individual is going through. The feelings that one experiences during this ad also stays with the viewer a lot longer than the duration of the ad, making them think and improving product recall.
Incorporating stories into an advertising campaign can help customers derive meaning from what they are watching. Customers want to see an advertisement that makes them feel like their time has been well spent. Ads that don’t have much of a story to tell, or which are incredibly ambiguous tend to lose customer interest, thereby causing them to pay less attention to the products as a whole.
Through a story, brands are also able to give their customers a lot more information. Stories are a great way to help customers identify the manner in which they should use the product, or gives them instances in which they would need the product that is being showcased. This encourages customers to go on and purchase what they have seen, or at least think that it would be a good idea to have it.
While it may be essential to telling a good narrative, it should be noted how a story needs to be adequately described to create the most impact. Even if an advertisement has a relatively good story, customers are not going to watch it if it is too long or just not relatable.
A customer no longer wants to buy a product for all that it is, they want the entire brand experience that surrounds the product, and this is where brand values and purpose are essential to ensure you and your business can build an engaging and authentic business story.
If done right, storytelling can be one of the most beneficial things for marketing and advertising of a product and can help companies reach their target audience with maximum effect.