Storytelling in Business

By March 24, 2017 Branding, Marketing

Filmmaker Andrew Stanton (“Toy Story,” “WALL-E”) shares what he knows about storytelling — starting at the end and working back to the beginning.

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”
― Rudyard Kipling, The Collected Works

Humans have been communicating through stories since the dawn of, well, humans. From cave paintings to Shakespeare to modern day Super Bowl commercials, our brains love a good story. There is an ocean of science behind it, which I won’t get into here, but if you are interested, check out The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool in the Harvard Business Review.

In a study cited in that article, they found that, “regardless of the content of the ad, the structure of that content predicted its success…People are attracted to stories…because we’re social creatures and we relate to other people.”

In their analysis of Superbowl ads, they found that “the ads that told a more complete story using Freytag’s Pyramid — a dramatic structure that can be traced back to Aristotle — were the most popular.”

Every business has a story

Stories enable us to share an idea, our personality, and forge a connection with consumers. The one thing all compelling stories have in common is that they’re memorable and worth repeating. Strategic storytelling can change attitudes and behaviors. Focus on a single important idea and forge an emotional connection. This is how ideas spread. 

While data can be persuasive, it doesn’t inspire people to act.  Wrapping your idea into an engaging story people can relate to does.

The Dollar Shave Club launch video is a great example.  This brand interrupted the entire industry by wrapping their innovative idea into an engaging  and humorous story that really connected with their audience.


Tell Your Business Story Like a TED Pro

In 6 Storytelling Tips to Tell Your Business Story Like a TED Pro, author Margot da Cunha shares insights from John Bates, who has trained 100’s of TEDx speakers.

“‘…We love stories so much that we have to be trained to not fall for anecdotal evidence. Why? Because our brains value stories over anything else,’” says Bates.

da Cunha explains: “Stories can be incorporated into all your forms of content: blogs, e-books, whitepapers, and even your About us page to captivate your audience… Once you learn to tell a good story, your audience is always going to be wanting more, which will turn your readers into leads, your leads into customers, and your customers into loyal customers.”

6 Key Tips for Business Storytelling

Visit  6 Storytelling Tips to Tell Your Business Story Like a TED Pro for the more detailed tips.

  1. Every story needs the 5 C’s – Circumstance, Curiosity, Characters, Conversations and Conflict
  2. Stop bragging and start relating to your audience
  3. Spark the emotional side of your audience’s brain
  4. Get Your Readers Engaged Through the Senses
  5. Start Your Story in the Middle
  6. Give Your Audience What Matters


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