RESEARCHSTORYTELLING

BRAND STORYTELLING – CUDDLE-HORMONE WINS

Visual and emotional brand storytelling is a great way to get in contact with your audience. Because that’s the natural language of your customer’s or client’s brain.

According to marketing experts 90 percent of all purchase decisions are taken unconsciously. And buying decisions are mostly based on emotions, feelings and the perception of your brand story.

Brand storytelling is a must

Internationally most communications managers have realized that brand storytelling is a must in their business communication. And it’s not just boring facts stories that need to be told. Instead, focus should be on the visual and emotional part of your corporate story to really resonate with your recipient.

And the effect of visual and emotional brand storytelling is now also supported by scientific studies. The studies show how stories change people’s attitudes, convictions and behaviors. But why does brand storytelling work so well?

Related: Storytelling helps you remember

Cuddle-hormone help people bond

To answer that question, we have to look a little closer at the brain. About a decade ago researchers discovered that the hormone oxytocin was essential in order to trust other people. Also it was essential to our willingness to help and work with another human being.

Oxytocin is a hormone produced in the hypothalamus. It is also called the cuddle-hormone, as it is released into the brain by hugs lasting more than 30 seconds.

Oxytocin is produced when we trust in others or are treated with care. It helps us bond with other people and motivates collaboration among human beings. It does so by increasing the feeling of empathy — so we can feel and understand what others feel. The hormone is found to a large extent in women, not so widely in men.

Storytelling works on video

And this is where brand storytelling comes in handy. Recent research shows that character-driven stories (stories with a protagonist) on video make the brain produce Oxytocin — just like a face-to-face situation between two people. The amount of the hormone produced also tells us how willing we are to help other people — and how willing we are to make a purchase.

We need emotions and excitement

Emotions and emotional stories have been an NO-GO for the last many years in the business world. But that perception will have to change if you want your stories to resonate with your audience. The fact is that character-driven stories with emotional content result in a better comprehension and retention of your message.

How to get started

  1. Tell a story about the challenges your target audience faces. If you can communicate a story that resonates with recipient’s self-understanding and his or her own story you gain loyal customers.
  2. Your brand story should have personality. This way your target audience can recognize themselves and your brand in the story.
  3. Your brand story should be authentic and in sync with reality. Authenticity has different meanings, so find out what your audience considers authentic.
  4. Listen in on different social channels – and find out what’s important to your target audience.