At Vaquero Advertising, we talk a lot about creating a connection between your brand and your audience. By creating a connection, you are establishing a long-lasting relationship that goes beyond the purchasing experience. One of the most effective ways to foster this relationship is by storytelling.
Storytelling is a long-standing tradition for humans. Our roots are found in storytelling. Before we could take photos to capture a moment, before we could post a memory to Facebook, all we had was oral tradition.
Psychologically, storytelling is one of the most powerful and influential tools we have. It is especially impactful to use in marketing and advertising. This ancient art can make our ideas memorable, impactful, and actionable in numerous ways. Some of the largest ways it accomplishes these things are through creating empathy, inspiring motivation, and using social proof.
Storytelling stimulates feelings of empathy through mirror neurons.
Here’s a quick psychology lesson on what mirror neurons are and how they act: They essentially let us understand others by providing an inner imitation of the actions of other people. By imitating a person’s actions, we start to feel the intentions and emotions associated with those actions. These mirror neurons basically make feelings contagious and help us connect to one another. We start to understand each other.
Then, through a process called neural coupling, we start to relate to the story. We take the story we’re hearing and we turn it into our own experiences and ideas.
When you feel what someone else feels, when you start to relate it to yourself, the person or the company instantly becomes closer to you. An example of a campaign that acts upon mirror neurons and neural coupling is Nike’s iconic “Just Do It” ads. When your audience is engaged with a story about overcoming obstacles, they feel inspired to overcome their own. Associating feelings with your brand also helps the audience to remember you and your message.
Motivation is the driving force behind behavior. In order for an individual to purchase your product or buy into your brand, you have to motivate them to. One of the key points of using storytelling in marketing is to inspire action.
Inspiring motivation goes deeper than simply convincing someone to purchase your product. This ties back to creating brand loyalty and associating good feelings with your brand through the use of mirror neurons. For example, Apple recently ran a “Share Your Gifts” campaign. This campaign wasn’t necessarily focused so much on the product as it was on the consumer. Apple encouraged individuals to share their passions and their skills with the world – even if it is intimidating at first. It reminded viewers that we each have something unique to offer, and we should be more open with the world about what that is. You never know where it will lead or who it will impact.
By focusing on the audience and encouraging them to follow their passions, Apple cultivated a deeper meaning in the audience’s life. Apple is no longer just a technology company. It is a company that cares about its consumers. It is a company that wants its consumers to follow happiness. This fortifies brand loyalty because it’s about more than just the product now.
We all want proof that something works, that a product lives up to the hype. Things like product reviews validate a product’s quality and the promises associated with it. Utilizing social proof, like online ratings or customer experience, is a vital part of storytelling. For example, take a customer review. This customer’s own story can contain elements that inspire motivation and create empathy, weaving perfectly into your company’s narrative.
Narrative is a strong and powerful tool, and its use in marketing and advertising is on the rise. It’s even stronger when you implement psychological principles. As a premiere Hispanic marketing agency in Dallas, Vaquero Advertising knows the importance of conveying your brand’s story to the audience in order to create a durable relationship. Vaquero will take the time to get to know your business, your principals, and who you are. We offer a variety of services, both digital and traditional, to drive your business and your SEO. The core strategy of those is the same, though: Create a narrative. Contact us today to learn more about how we can tell your story, in English and in Spanish!
Image from Getty Images: Creative # 942781242.