The Power of Storytelling to Create Lasting Brand Impact

The Power of Storytelling to Create Lasting Brand Impact

Since people are naturally social, why use long decks, lots of data points, and jargon-filled messages to get your company’s message across?

Oxytocin is a hormone that makes us feel safe and connected to others. We let our brains release it when we hear a story. Because of this, when we connect with a story, we’re more likely to feel like we know the characters and care about their problems and successes.

How powerful stories are?

Your impact on someone’s emotions is immeasurable, even after they’ve forgotten your exact words and deeds. This famous quote by Maya Angelou has been used in brand positioning decks for years. It’s so hard to follow through on those words, though. 

Telling stories is the only way to connect your company’s goal, purpose, culture, and people. It’s not silly fairy tales that bring people together and build trust; it’s emotional intelligence. That’s what affects actions that bring in money, like buying something, brand choice, sharing personal information, and getting recommendations from other customers. Your bottom line depends on how compelling your stories are.

Marketers may turn to genAI for speed and scale as the never-ending race for MQLs, opportunities, and wins goes on. It is helpful, but it lacks personal knowledge and understanding. Here are four ways to tell amazing stories:

1. Do what you’re supposed to do.

Set out your company’s core values and principles and let workers, customers, and other important people know about them. This keeps everyone on solid ground and sets clear goals. And while marketing sets the image of the brand, the whole company keeps the brand promise. Zappos’ goal was to “deliver happiness” as an online shoe store. 

Zappos set itself apart from rivals by believing that happy employees make happy customers. This helped them build a base of very loyal customers. Their core values, which included “be humble,” “deliver WOW through service,” and “create fun and a little weirdness,” drove their employees to work for a company that cared about their happiness and personal growth. They also gave customers “surprise and delight moments” to show how grateful they were for their loyalty. What you stand for is more than just a brand playbook; it’s how you act in every contact. 

2. The way it’s sent is the word.

Good news: people can pay attention for longer than goldfish. But to get that attention, you need to send relevant, personalized messages from a reliable source. The typical individual receives 121 emails daily.  Every day, I delete dozens of automated texts from people I don’t know. 

People care more about hearing from people they know and trust. Even though it seems obvious, we depend on automated marketing emails to help us make real requests. Not long ago, I asked one of our executive vice presidents at Qvest to bring someone he knows to a webinar. Within an hour, the client signed up. Even if the invite came from a generic name, would that still be true? People-to-people interactions are more important to me than the size of marketing automation tools. 

3. Leave your ego at the door.

Your ego puts you in the spotlight. Don’t think about what’s in it for them; think about why someone will care and how this helps them. The world will see how knowledgeable you are. CMO of Pepsi, Todd Kaplan, has said that the “bullshit test” is important. He told marketers that they should really think about their marketing campaigns and ask themselves if they would leave work to take part if they weren’t working there. If the answer is no, they need to work on the idea some more. 

If the message doesn’t make you want to do something, stop and rethink it. This is true whether you’re writing an event, thought leadership piece, social post, or customer pitch. This pressure testing makes it clear what “great” really means, which helps you connect with your audience. 

4. Be real at work; that’s what people connect with.

That’s what makes greatness great. Stories sell, facts tell. One way to make yourself stand out is to share a story—whether it’s a personal one, a relatable one, or a significant customer story. This is because our brains are hardwired to connect with others. You might be talking to a fellow New York Mets fan who lives on the West Coast or who likes how that company is changing their industry. During these times, we take a break from the solution brief and create moments where people can relate to and participate. 

To switch from a one-way “megaphone” to a two-way “walkie-talkie” conversation, you need a new approach based on connection and stories. People on both sides of the table need to be able to connect with each other in order for marketing and sales to work. Be interested and lean in. Take the time to ask questions. Even if someone is more experienced. You can relate to us because of it.  

There will always be new competitors, complicated sales processes, and changing economic conditions. There will be even more information than before. Our brains will try to put it all together by telling stories. How strong is your glue then?  

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