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The power of storytelling to sell experiences

By November 30, 2017 No Comments

Stories are the currency of life!

Even now, we walk around with constant mass storytelling, captivating and entertaining us. We see it in advertisements all around us, 24/7. Without even consciously realising, it’s right there in our pockets!

Storytelling has been a huge part of human nature since the beginning of time. In history, we hear tales of village elders reciting stories to wide-eyed inquisitive children, or congregating around infamous narrators as they did in the eighteenth century.

Amazingly, storytelling is ingrained in our nature as humans.

The Brain and Stories

Oh. My. Science!

It seems there is more to storytelling than reliving childhood tales of fantasy and fiction! Deep-rooted in our brains is a natural storytelling phenomenon.

Michael Gazzaniga a cognitive Neuroscientist is an avid believer that storytelling is deeply engraved into the human mind. He says not only do we want to use it but we need to story tell to make sense of our reality.
He and his team of specialists have studied the brain for many years and have found mind-blowing results- (cheesy pun intended).

They found the left and right-hand side of the brain have different functions. But not only do they function differently, they also work independently of each other. Most bizarrely, they noticed that one side of the brain doesn’t know what the other one is doing.

To test this they put a sequence of actions/ questions to patients. So, the right speaking hemisphere would instruct the left side to carry out the action. Then when the patient was asked, “why did you do that?” The patient would fabricate a story that explained why.
He illustrates how in the left brain we have a special system that wants to explain and justify all actions and moods after they occurred.

Dr Gazzaniga also believes that this prevalent need for storytelling is our intrinsic way of dealing with survival. In particular, we like to listen to fictional stories. This is our basic way to prepare us for unexpected things. Seeing a character play out their actions to survive a given situation, helps us process and learn our own future actions for that scenario. Demonstrating that there is more to storytelling than just pure entertainment, it’s a deep psychological need.

To see the video of Dr. Gazzaniga’s research click here.

Stories and Marketing

Narratives are so important to people.

Every year there is a huge build up around the Christmas Adverts. A comparison of ‘Who’s got the best advert this year?” Usually, the stiff competition is between the major department stores!
So what is so captivating about the Christmas adverts year after year?

It’s the story that gets us! This year John Lewis has opened up childhood nostalgia for the goofy monster under the bed, who inadvertently becomes the young boys’ best friend. The story brings out feelings of thrill, fun and friendship. Getting viewers swept up in the emotion of the story.

 

 

M&S cleverly taps into people’s desire for stories to have good morals. Friendly Mr. Paddington bear accidentally manages to confuse a Christmas thief with Santa and goes on his mission to ‘help’ Santa return the gifts. In the end converting the immoral thief into a good person, whose faith is restored in kindness and love -just in time for Christmas!

 

Great marketers will tap into our intrinsic need for storytelling and intelligently evoke emotion, grab our attention and keep us interested.

Creating stories for your customers

How can you use stories to enhance your marketing? We have some useful tips to help you on your way.
Keep your story simple but impactful. – Easier said than done.
There is, however, a useful trick to being effectively simple. All you need to do is cleverly tap into basic human emotions. This could be anything from romantic love, family, friendship, happiness, joy, thrill, reward and even good morals.

Now we don’t all have the resources to display a production level on par with the giant department stores! But we can use storytelling in our marketing and email campaigns to grab attention and evoke emotion.

Emotional Trigger Words

Word choice is important in marketing to influence a purchase. You can do this easily by tapping into different categories of emotion to convey the message you’re trying to sell.
Positive wording is more powerful than negative; it’s best to convey messages of happiness and reward for the most enticing results.

An example of emotionally triggering categories of words:
Health: Buzzwords that trigger health invoking emotions: Boost, energise, cure, flush, vibrant, nourish
Hope: Bright, Destiny, Empower, Overcome, Undo, dreams,
Passion: Blissful, Delightful, Jubilant, Rave, Thrilled, indulge
Urgency: Before you forget…, Quick, Limited, Seize, While it’s fresh on your mind… Don’t wait…, It’s not too late!

Using pictures to support your story!

Don’t forget words have more impact when there is a visual stimulant!
Your choice of pictures is just as important as the words you use.
Captivate your customers’ attention by showing accurate pictures that demonstrate the emotion you’re conveying.

Type of image:

It may be obvious but lifestyle shots always sell better to customers.

Empathy and attachment are conveyed easier when the image re-enacts the experience. Especially when there are people involved.

Secondly, whenever possible always use your product in the images. This gives an exact representation of your experience and story being sold.

 

Conclusion

Creating beautiful stories within your marketing will make a bigger impact on your customers. Hopefully, you’ll leave footprints on their memories!
Even after a year has passed people still talk remember the bouncing dog on the trampoline at Christmas…

For more help on how you can market your gift vouchers, get in touch with us at Enjovia.com.

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