The language of emotion is narrative. When you tell a tale, you invite your audience to engage with their emotions, become personally committed, and follow the plot.
Like great stories, great brands investigate what makes us human.
Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn had the idea to look into that notion in 2009. They purchased 100 cheap trinkets from thrift shops and hired authors to create a narrative for each item. The story about the office manager who used a heart-shaped paperweight to weigh down the lid of her M&M jar, for instance, was provided the paperweight. The things were then listed on eBay along with Walker and Glenn’s stories to see if the value of the items would rise.
The outcomes were astounding. Their sales came to around $3,600 from an initial investment of $129, representing a profit of over 2,700%.
The “significant things project,” an experiment, shows the importance of tales and the emotional value they contribute by showing how they can elevate the insignificant into something significant and priceless. People were willing to pay extra for the products because there was a story associated with them.
Through narrative, you can differentiate yourself from your rivals and provide the groundwork for your brand’s vision.
The single factor that distinguishes one company from another in any mature, competitive market is brand, and storytelling is an essential component of a brand.
B2B decision-makers wish businesses would communicate with them more directly. They don’t want to be caught off-guard by numbers, jargon, and technical terms. Nobody wants to feel like the object of a sales pitch, but everyone enjoys a good tale they can identify with.
Stories add value to a product by providing context and meaning, just like in the significant items project. Customers want a story and an experience, not to be told how great your brand or product is.
In B2B marketing, adding new features and raising prices are the normative ways to increase costs and profitability. These qualities occasionally appeal to consumers and are exciting, but they are frequently not what they require or want.
The proper clients are drawn in and cultivated through stories as the main attraction. A captivating and credible narrative might increase the value of a software subscription service that costs $17.99 per month to $25. They find your gift more valuable, but they also notice you more. That is the financial benefit that storytelling makes possible.
Here are four further justifications for using storytelling in B2B marketing.
1. Stories make numbers and facts easier to understand.
Stories open us to new ideas, while numbers and facts awaken our inner critic.
Consider the narrative as a necessary component of a dish. Without the proper ingredients, baking a cake results in something bland, uninteresting, or unpleasant. Storytelling is the frosting on the cake; it gives products a gratifying and enduring quality.
2. Stories elicit positive brain responses.
A tale affects our thoughts and emotions in addition to raising the value of a product. Our brain generates chemicals that cause feelings when we are exposed to certain tale elements:
- Suspenseful plot devices cause the “reward hormone,” dopamine, to be released, which enhances our ability to concentrate, stay motivated, and remember details.
- Our bodies release the hormone oxytocin when we empathize with the main character in a story, which improves our trust in both the storyteller and the story itself.
- We also release endorphins when a story is slightly amusing and heartwarming, which helps us feel focused and relaxed, similar to how you might feel after running or enjoying a good night out with friends.
3. Stories pique consumers’ interest in your brand.
Brands that come off as robotic, corporate, or out of touch are unappealing to consumers. The human factor is what they are looking for. They want to learn more about the people who created the product and hear from actual customers who can vouch for it and the business.
Stories have long been practical tools for forging relationships among group members and fostering harmony. We all desire a sense of tribe and a sense of belonging.
Similarly, we want to support businesses that enrich our lives and give us a sense of satisfaction. The human truth is what we seek. Because of this, it’s crucial to humanize your brand and marketing plan through storytelling.
4. Stories help your brand get heard.
Storytelling is more than just a passing trend or marketing tool. Every brand area should incorporate it to improve the customer experience and inspire motivation, trust, and creativity.
Technological innovation can add to the attraction, but consumers don’t stick with a brand or product for that reason. Your brand’s uniqueness isn’t due to how innovative it is, how many features it has, or how many glitzy new products your engineering staff is constantly creating. Stories help people feel connected to and treated like humans, which is what they seek.