Humans love stories. From bedtime tales as children, to binge watching our favourite series on Netflix, or even listening avidly to the latest gossip from our friends, stories captivate us.
As well as being engaging, they are ways of communicating ideals and ideas. This makes them the perfect vessel for sharing a brand’s message with its audience. Storytelling is one of the most powerful aspects of experiential marketing.
Why is storytelling important in experiential marketing?
Storytelling enhances consumers’ ability to form personal connections with brands. Using authentic, creative and inspirational narratives as part of an experiential marketing campaign enables people to identify with the key messages, and boosts memorability of the brand.
Experiential marketing pivots on emotions, which are also the driving force behind stories. Bringing these two elements together is an equation for success – plot, plus real-world experience, equals great marketing. At the Experiential Marketing Summit arranged by Event Market, Helen J. Stoddard spoke of the importance of storylines:
“Storytelling without experiential, that’s a book. Experiential without a story, that’s a cocktail party.” In a generation where technology has taken over our everyday lives, we are overwhelmed with advertising from every direction. Stories are one of the best ways to cut through the noise and deliver a message that is clear, memorable and engaging. They resonate with people on a personal level, so consumers can feel more connected to a brand. As such, incorporating the power of narratives into experiential marketing campaigns can take them to the next level.
Storytelling and consumer engagement
Listening to a story has been shown to more fully engage our brains than listening to a string of facts or claims, according to research published in Psychology Today. Because of the extra brain activity, when people hear stories, they enjoy the experience more, understand the information they are given more thoroughly and retain it for longer. On top of that, the neurochemical oxytocin is released when we hear stories, which makes us trust the teller more, and make us more likely to carry out actions they ask us to take, which is exactly what most marketing is aiming for
The beauty of experiential marketing is that it can go beyond simply relating an anecdote to customers, though – it can actively engage them in the narrative. Experiential marketing is all about immersive consumer experiences. By inviting your audience to participate in a real-life scenario, you’re effectively positioning your consumer as the protagonist, giving them a role and a stage on which to act out their own script.
Strengthening your brand with storytelling
The potential to reach your customers through experiential storytelling is huge. In order to strengthen your brand with a certain narrative, there are a few factors to remember:
- Your brand ‘story’ needs to be rooted in reality. Authenticity is a key component of building trust with your consumer base, so even when telling a tale you should approach it with transparency and truthfulness.
- Just as fictional plots are structured with a beginning, middle and end, your brand’s story should be divided into different acts. The beginning is where you establish the setting and characters.
- Simple accounts work best. Those built on basic premises of human emotion will resonate with a wider audience. A simple story is also easier to understand, remember and then share with others.
Here at Orange Productions we are masters of storytelling. You can trust us to bring your brand’s story to life, creating narratives that will capture your audience’s imaginations – and loyalty. Contact us today to find out more about how we can work with you.