Brands and Story Telling

by Brad VanAuken, BrandForward, Inc.

Yesterday, I was drawn in again by a street person’s story. It is not the first time. If the story is good enough, it tugs on your heartstrings.

While, as a marketer, I am always leery of being taken in by total fiction, at the same time, if the story is good enough, it doesn’t even matter if it is true. It has entertained me. I give the person some money.

Several times a week my wife and I get phone calls from various not-for-profit and political organizations asking for contributions. Again, there are stories. What will happen if they don’t get enough money. What will happen if they do. The telephone solicitors are scripted to paint a compelling picture with words.

Don’t religious leaders do the same thing? How many of Jesus’ parables are recounted in the Bible? And there are Hindu and Buddhist parables and stories. I can’t think of a religion that doesn’t have its stories.

I even hear stories from people who want to sell me investments. Stories of people getting rich. They paint a picture of how I will significantly increase my net worth too if I invest in what they are selling. And how about the stories told by places? Come to our country or city or resort and have this type of experience.

Story telling is a strong selling tool. Every brand should have its stories. The stories should be unique and engaging and admirable and entertaining and purchase motivating.

Does your brand have a story to tell? If your target customers heard it, would it be enough to get them to purchase what you are selling?

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