We Tell Strategic Stories With Impact
Storytelling, a buzzword of the last few years, is a practice that has underlain our most successful campaigns and brand development from our beginnings in the 1980s. We unite the right idea with the right emotions in a compelling and strategic story. It is the most powerful way to engage your customer and motivate him to act. That’s not just our opinion; neuroscience proves it.
"A brand is a story that is always being told"
Scott Bedbury, Nike "Just Do It" campaign
How we put the strategic in storytelling.
Simply put, strategic storytelling, fueled by its essential companion, emotional branding, is the process of making a connection with the customer first and selling a product second. And, by doing so, you build brand and sell more product. The most effective stories, our strategic stories, achieve that by:
- Making your customer–not your product or brand–the hero
- Casting your product or brand as the hero’s tool, mentor, friend or secret to empowerment
- Demonstrating understanding of your customer
- Having meaning and relevance for your customer
- Embodying your brand’s purpose
- Motivating your customer
We can tell a story in a single word–the brand’s name or tagline–and in a single image. But, it must continue to be told at every stage of the customer’s journey with every piece of communication—ads, brochures, ebooks, sales presentations—and it must be true and match the customer’s experience. Ultimately, that experience will help write future chapters of your story.
How do we drive your success with strategic stories?
Most great stories begin with the characters, and that’s where we start, too. Achieving an understanding of who your customers are and developing fully dimensioned profiles of them is critical to uncovering their emotions. Not just those emotions that—seemingly–drive their decisions, but the emotions that tell us what they care about as people.
Then we dig deep into your product’s qualities—and those of your competitors’–to look beyond the obvious for the connection between your customer and the product. That gives rise to the positioning and brand identity—and that’s the core of your story. It’s why your customer will care. It’s why they’ll listen. It’s why they’ll buy.
What makes storytelling so powerful?
The influence of storytelling on attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors has been shown in neurological and psychologicial studies for decades. Most recently, neuroeconomist Paul Zak’s research (partially underwritten by the Department of Defense) indicates that storytelling evokes a strong neurological response, raising cortisol levels and resulting in heightened attention and focus. The study also shows an increase in oxytocin, a chemical associated with feelings of empathy, connection and trust. Importantly, participants with increased levels of both neurochemicals had a much higher likelihood of donating money to a stranger, demonstrating a strong correlation between generosity and oxytocin levels.
In branding terms, the participants were engaged, trusting, and open to a sales message. Add to that higher recall rates and it’s hard to see why you wouldn’t use storytelling.
Used strategically, the right story—and it must be an authentic story—will perform better than data and logic alone.