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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2

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How storytelling affects consumer behavior nowadays

Storytelling is one of the most powerful ways to reach your potential consumers and win their hearts as a brand. Long story short, storytelling comes down to packing your (marketing) messages into a lively story. Due to good storytelling consumers no longer have the feeling that they are looking at an advertisement, but the potential consumers read or watch the story because they enjoy the story. This allows you to give your organization or products a certain appearance.(Ettienne Gozems, 2016)

How storytelling affects the brain

The brain of people is complex. Research has shown that a great story can engage our brain in different ways. It can stimulate different parts of our brain at the same time. It intrigues us and makes us think about certain subjects. It can make us empathize with a character. Certain metaphors can make us imagine harder and visualize various scenarios in our mind. With a bit of planning and creativity, marketers can come up with stories that develop the emotions that they want the customer to feel towards the brand.

The Cause and effect of Storytelling

At the very basic, any story is an order of causes and effects. One event leads to another event and so on. Human beings naturally want to know the outcome of a cause and this is what leads them to get engaged in a story. So, a good storyteller must be very clear. The storyteller must know what kind of triggers are working with the plot and imagine an outcome. It is also advisable to understand the psyche of the audience and deliver a climax that satisfies them. Brands must avoid extremely clichéd and overused elements and explore new ideas and plot lines.

Stories Create Engagement

While the whole idea of storytelling is suggested to engage the potential consumers, it does get one-dimensional at times if you just keep telling a story. So, one way to improve upon this is to engage people directly by asking them to be a part of the process. As an example, you can make up a hypothetical story about the use of your product and let them complete the other half of the use of the product. Such an activity will awaken the storyteller in a natural way. This will inherently reside inside every human being and they will always remember this experience and associate the brand with it. (Sharma, 2015)

Storytelling can lead to an exponential increase of buying intentions.

Storytelling can lead to an exponential increase of buying intentions. This is the conclusion of qualitative market research by 3DAccountability and Coolbrands (FONK, 2011)

Information will be processed by the left part of our brain, the rational side. Information that is delivered to the consumers as story content triggers your emotion and could lead to behavioral changes. This information is processed by the right side of your brain. (Maarten Schaffer, CoolBrands, 2011).

Storytelling does not only affect your perception of a brand of the person who hears the story at first, but the stories will travel to more potential customers. The story goes far beyond the brand perception of the individual to who the story is told. This gives opportunities to businesses with the problem of advertising that is getting less and less effective. (Anouk Papers, Coolbrands, 2011).

Behavior is heavily influenced by peer-to-peer communication, 70 percent of all purchase decisions are based on peer-to-peer influence. The research of 3DAccountability and CoolBrands shows that it pays to invest in storytelling because it is the driver of word of mouth. (Stephanie Lopez, 3DAccountabilty, 2011)

Trends and developments

Data Storytelling

One of the trends when it comes to storytelling is the added value of data. Data storytelling is the blending of two worlds: data and human communication. It is a story that will be anchored by compelling data. (French, 2017) Consumers nowadays are providing brands with more information than they did before and the demand for personalized content is increasing at the speed of light. With the help of data, brands know much more about their target groups. This knowledge will help the brands to personalize storytelling to their target groups and will result in more benefits to their own business.  (Martin, 2017)

There are many sorts of communication, but data storytelling is a unique positioned way of storytelling. Next to the fact that data storytelling is a unique way of storytelling it is scientifically supported to help marketers achieve their communication goals in different ways. (French, 2017)

A research by Qlick shows that there are several advantages by using data storytelling. 74% of the respondents of the research by Qlick say they increase their revenue by using data storytelling, by introducing new services and new products or new markets. 20% of the respondents say that data storytelling can distinguish them from their competitors. 85% of the respondents say that data storytelling allows resources to be allocated more efficiently. (Scurry, 2017)

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