The digital revolution has not only changed the ways we work, communicate, and have fun, but also how we shop. Through the Internet, we can glean a massive dose of information about the products we are interested in and choose from many different options.
Against this backdrop, it’s no longer enough for brands to deliver performance and convenience to convince people to choose their products or services: they have to establish an emotional bond with consumers. And here’s where brand storytelling can make the difference.
Stories have always held a prominent place in human society and played a crucial role in the development of our species. In his book The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative, Jonathan Gottschall explains how it all began with the tales that our oldest ancestors shared around the campfire about how they escaped harm. Each of those stories was then repeated to others, transforming personal experience into common knowledge, providing all the members with the knowledge they needed to survive.
Since then, stories have become a source of entertainment and a social aggregator, something we can’t live without. The human brain has developed by being exposed to stories and has adapted to them: that is why, when we hear a story, no matter who we are or what we are doing, we are immediately attracted to it, and it is natural for us to be captivated.
The digital revolution has opened up new scenarios, multiplied channels and formats, and created previously unimaginable narration possibilities. Today’s real challenge is not to find room for stories but to create stories that are capable of capturing the public’s attention. How do we do that?
A story is essentially an emotional journey, experienced firsthand by the audience, at the end of which there is a change of perspective and/or an action is completed. To achieve that result, the audience must identify with the main character, the hero.
And who is the hero in brand storytelling? You may think it is the product. Well, think again.
It’s the audience. The audience is the hero, while the product being sold is the mentor, the guide, the most experienced entity that wants what’s best for the hero and will help them achieve it.