The Power of Stories in Marketing
Dan Heinkel, August 10, 2012
Well, I couldn't agree more, Mr. Schiff. And here's why.
Let's use this year's Olympics as an example. I'm willing to bet that if I asked you what John Orozco scored on the pommel horse, you wouldn't be able to tell me. However, if I asked you to tell me about his childhood in the Bronx, you'd probably respond without hesitation--facts get recorded; stories get remembered.
John Orozco isn't the only Olympic athlete who we've come to know through story, though. The Olympics thrive off stories--the Blade Runner, Michael Phelps, the Fab Five, etc. That's why people get so invested; they want to know how the story ends. So what does this mean for marketing?
Simply put, stories stick. As human beings, we're hard-wired to remember stories much more easily than we remember facts. There's a reason why most TV commercials are in story form. And there's a reason why public speakers start with an anecdote--they lock us in.
Stories keep us engaged. They connect with us on an emotional level, which in marketing can make the difference between someone using your service and someone brushing you off.
Still not sold on the power of stories?
Let's look at TOMS Shoes. This company's story has been its driving force since day one. Owner Blake Mycoskie started the company after being inspired by a trip to Argentina where he saw extreme poverty and health conditions, as well as children walking around without shoes. This led him to reinvent the native Argentine alpargata shoe which he would sell to customers around the world, and for everyone one pair sold, he would donate a new pair to a child in need. Are there better shoes being sold online? Sure. But people want to buy from TOMS because they know their story. They want to be a part of the movement. It's something real that they can connect with; it's something emotional.
Of course, not every company has a story like TOMS to use. But every company does, in fact, have a story. It's up to you to find that story and share it with the world. The content will literally market itself. Once you start doing that, you'll find that customers don't just record your name, they remember it.
Think you've figured that story out? Start sharing right here on our blog--we're all ears.