When looking for marketing advice, the word “storytelling” seems to pop up everywhere. What is so special about a story that the idea seems to have taken over the world of marketing?
Advances in science and the cave man brain.
Yes, that seems contradictory, stick with me.
The ability to map the brain and study it under different conditions shows us that the human brain has not evolved from the cave man brain all that much when it comes to learning. We learn best through experience – our own and those of others. How do we learn about other people’s experiences? Through their story of it.
Stories Engage More of the Brain
The are several advantages to how stories work the brain.
- Attention: The brain wanders. Studies show that people can spend up to half their waking hours daydreaming. No matter how often someone’s attention may drift, it becomes totally focused during an interesting story.
- Connection: Stories put the teller and the audience on the same “wavelength” – literally. Listener brains start to follow the same pattern as the teller’s, creating a stronger bond between the two.
- Emotion: A good story engages emotions. Once emotions come into play, the listener has a stronger sense of empathy for the teller.
- Engagement: Brain scans show that a list of facts will light up only two parts of the brain. A story, on the other hand, lights up a significant portion of the brain. Stories put us in the place of the teller – allowing us to share in their experience. This sense of immersion embeds the lessons of the story more strongly in the listener’s mind.
- Memory: Because the brain is so engaged when it comes to a story, we remember them better than just dry data.
With all the power a story has on the brain, is it any wonder why many companies have joined the storytelling school of marketing? The real question is, why did it take them so long to figure it out?
There is a catch, however. The story must be good.
More than Just a Story
Having a story to tell gives marketers an advantage; yet, if they do not tell the story well, they just wasted that advantage.
To capture an audience’s attention, you need an interesting story. The truth is that any story can be interesting, if it’s told correctly. Similarly, any story can be a bore if told incorrectly.
Think back to your favorite childhood story. Why do you love it? Probably because you like how it ended and how it was told. Does your favorite character win in the end? Did the teller act out each character or give them different voices? Something about that story caught and held your attention.
Now, think back to a childhood story you hate. Why do you hate it? Probably because your favorite character lost in the end. If you remember the story well enough to have strong emotions about it, then it was told well.
Listeners will soon forget the story that does not capture their attention and imagination.
How well do you tell your company’s story? Is your audience riveted? Squash and Stretch Productions specializes in telling stories with animations that educate, entertain, and delight your audience. We can help you make your story memorable.