In a world where people are bombarded by choices,
stories play a decisive role in yielding attention and
Storytelling is the fundamental block of any marketing communication. Studies show that an average consumer is exposed to up to 7 brand messages per minute. With growing number of channels, the number is soaring rapidly. As consumers our attention is divided across multiple activities and multi tasking, hence the fight for attention is becoming tougher than ever. One of the biggest mistakes marketers often fall prey to is by designing campaigns by prioritizing the company and not the consumer. In marketing, the most important and influential word is “you”. Any campaign failing to consider the customer need is doomed for all.
“An average consumer is exposed to up to 7 brand messages per minute”
As we all know that marketing is all about generating trust while being honest to the customers. In a world where people are bombarded by choices, stories play a decisive role in yielding attention and trust. 5000 years ago hieroglyphs were used to in ancient Egypt and is still considered as the earliest writing system in the world. Prior to that cavemen used to paint stories on cave walls. Though a lot has changed since then, but stories had remained an integral part of every human being and apparently the most unique thing in the process of our upbringing. Since the day we start apprehending language; ideologues, mythology, folklores, values- everything get imbibed in us through the medium of story. Hence with growing age, we also evolve as storytellers. We are all storytellers, only thing that makes the difference is our individual narrative technique. As an exercise ask three different individuals to tell a single story. I bet you’ll find three different narrative styles of the same story. May be one or two of them will draw your attention better.
Three things that distinguishes a brand are:
1. An Emotional Advantage: This is how your brand emotionally connects with your customers. This is how your brand makes your customers feel.
2. A Distinctive Advantage: What makes you unique from your competitors. Advantage that deters you from becoming a me-too brand in the market.
3. A Connective Advantage: How you create meaningful connections in daily lives of your prospects and customers.
Ask any marketer and he will tell that consumer attention is a commodity and marketing is an exchange of attention with the marketing message. Gradually, business houses are resorting to storytelling in order to evolve as an influential brand. In today’s digitally distracted world, brand storytelling is an important strategy to strengthen relationship with customers. Emotional yet authentic stories urges to the subconscious mind of the audience thus reigning over the cognitive behaviour of the audience. While training my sales team, I used to tell them that sales is a process interaction between two brains. Yes, buying decisions are always governed by the customer but to be precise it is the brain of the customer which triggers the urge in him to buy. Thus for any marketer, understanding a customer means understanding the cognitive complexities of the customer. It is here story plays a significant role in driving one’s cognitive behaviour.
“Thus for any marketer, understanding a customer means understanding the cognitive complexities of the customer.”
According to neuroscience, an average human brain weighs around 3 pounds, which is mere 2% of our entire body weight. In contrary to its weigh, a human brain consumes 25% of our body’s oxygen. A healthy average brain processes 400 billion bits of information per second. But, only 40 bits of them are received by our conscious minds. Though buying decisions are undertaken by the subconscious mind but the route to that subconscious is obviously through that restricted passage of conscious processing. This is what the brands actually fight for. Neuroscientists has long recognized narratives as the basic organizing principle of memory. This is where brand storytelling helps to inject the brand by cutting through the information clutter. I believe that every human being is a resultant of all the decisions which he/ she had ever taken. And all our decisions are actually driven by emotions.
Hence if you wish to drive the behaviour of your consumers, then you cannot make it without adhering to the emotional aspect. A good narrative is comprised of all the essential components required to instigate different emotions while drawing and sustaining our attention span. Thus integrating a brand message to an authentic and emotional story will not only help your brand penetrate through consumer minds but will also help in strengthening their engagement to your brand.
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