What is Brand Storytelling?
Remember the feeling of hearing a great ghost story around the campfire? Those campfire storytelling moments stick with us. There were lessons learned in each story such as “don’t walk alone in the woods at night” or “be careful talking to strangers.” The same logic applies to your brand. The idea of brand storytelling is to share a narrative about who you are, what your business does, and how it impacts others.
Your Marketing Message is a Form of Storytelling
Content marketing is really simple … you are telling a story to a target audience (your ideal customers). The power of brand storytelling is rooted in the science of how our brains work – how we interpret information.
“A story activates parts in the brain that allows the listener to turn the story in to their own ideas and experience, thanks to a process called neural coupling.” When someone hears your brand story, he or she is comprehending it in a way that makes it their own. Your target audience will redefine the story so that it becomes new ideas based on how the listener (your ideal customer) interpreted it. Your choice of words in brand storytelling matters – each word or phrase is tied to other memories and experiences. You want to trigger the positive ones.
“Listeners will not only experience the similar brain activity to each other, but also to the speaker.” As you share a happy story, listeners will also feel happy. Through the inflection in your voice, the words you choose, or how things are described that the listener experiences the feelings you’re revealing. This is why your business’ brand needs a thoughtful story to explain your who, what, where, when, and why.
“The brain releases dopamine into the system when it experiences an emotionally-charged event, making it easier to remember with greater accuracy.” Dopamine aids memory and information processing, so it has a big impact on someone’s ability to remember things. One big difference between storytelling and just talking is the flow of the content. Telling a story moves in a specific fashion that causes people to become emotionally attached to your story. These emotions help people to remember the story. In the long run, this is what attracts your customer tribe and creates loyalty.
Creating Brain Activity
“When processing facts, two areas of the brain are activated (Broca’s and Wernicke’s area) A well-told story can engage many additional areas, including the motor cortex, sensory cortex, and frontal cortex.” It makes perfect sense why Broca’s area of the brain would activate, because it is the motor speech area that helps with the movements required to produce speech. And Wernicke’s area helps us with understanding speech through using the correct words to express thoughts.
Beyond speech interpretation, the style of storytelling in marketing triggers the other areas of the brain. It tells the brain to remember the point of the story, rather than a disjointed string of facts. You can make someone feel hungry for the food you provide, feel the relief of the massage you offer, or smell the sweet roses you will deliver – all through the words you choose. When your target audience remembers the feelings, your brand story becomes a part of them.
So what is your brand’s story and how are you telling it?
This is your invitation to join a dialogue with Beckmann Collaborative and our partners about brand storytelling. There are several ways to join this conversation:
1. Comment below with your thoughts on what makes a great brand story for a business. Are there key elements to a brand story or does it depend upon the company?
2. Follow Beckmann Collaborative on Facebook and stay tuned for Facebook Live conversations with partners about brand stories, especially those of local Austin, Texas businesses.
3. Check out the Brand Language course and connect with the community of other small business learners. We are digging into brand storytelling at a much deeper level.