Marketing is changing. Sales promises and banner ads no longer cut the mustard. Brand storytelling is quickly becoming one of the most effective ways to improve product value.
Today’s consumers are on the look-out for a story they can invest in. Marketers are developing their storytelling skills to stay on top of the game. However, storytelling isn’t just useful for selling brand stories. It’s also useful for market research and interpretation.
At All Good Tales, we recognise that a good brand story can make your marketing strategy. However, storytelling has uses beyond brand storytelling. Below, find four reasons why storytelling and marketing are a match made in heaven.
Express your brand’s personality
Like people, brands need to have a personality to stand out. Stories are great vehicles for showing this personality off. Stories are useful tools for conveying information, but people often overlook their ability to reveal character.
A few months ago, looters ransacked a Lidl in Tallaght during Storm Emma. The story was swiftly picked up by every major outlet. Rather than wallow in the loss, Lidl laughed it off:
So err… anyone do anything nice over the weekend?
— Lidl Ireland (@lidl_ireland) March 5, 2018
The tweet expressed the company’s sunny personality perfectly, turning a national story into an opportunity for promotion.
Stories can be case-studies, user-generated, or created through organic brand interactions. Any story that successfully conveys personality will help your brand stick in prospect’s minds. Stories are going to be told about your brand one way or another—use them to your advantage.
Help clarify complex data
Today, much of marketing is data-driven. Though data is a priceless marketing resource, it can be tough to interpret.
One way to interpret data is through storytelling. Stories are especially effective because they can be shared easily amongst team members. Whereas raw data is difficult to grasp, stories are always easy to understand.
It’s hard to imagine numbers leading to real life outcomes. Fortunately, storytelling accounts for these outcomes. For a marketer, stories are an invaluable aid for communicating raw data to colleagues.
Realise the emotional core
Focus groups play a big role in market research. The goal of these groups is to expose consumer’s thoughts about a brand or product
Focus groups are uncomfortable situations. They can make people anxious, and anxious people tend to avoid taking risks. A nervous person is less likely to give a personal response, and more likely to stick to views their peers will accept. Focus groups are meant to uncover personal responses, but sometimes they deter people from getting personal.
Storytelling offers a way around this. Stories require improvisation. This makes it hard to lean on easy clichés. Instead, people have to draw from their own experiences. This ensures that their response will be personal.
Tell me what you don’t know
Focus groups are also at risk to group think. People can change their answers to make the researcher happy, or to avoid confrontation. These responses generally lean on known truths—they don’t tell the researcher anything they don’t already know.
Stories, however, involve improvisation. Improvising is hard. People don’t always have time to consider what they are saying. When asked to improvise, people can reach conclusions even they find surprising.
This kind of insight is priceless for a market researcher. The goal isn’t to find out what the consumer thinks they think—it’s to find out what they actually think. Storytelling is valuable because it brings these thoughts out into the open.