I’m passionate about Stories and Storytelling. Goes without saying, seeing as the unwritten title of my newsletter is #leadwithstorytelling. However, it goes deeper than that.
I go back to this one evening as a young adult. It was another evening of a power outage. My mother sat on the step with my younger sisters and me. The kerosene lantern glowed with sepia light with short hands no farther than over our faces. There weren’t any power-generating sets to provide a philharmonic ambiance.
“Do you know the story of the goat and the corn cob?” she said in Igbo. My sisters and I shook our heads, but we turned our attention to her as she began the gist of how mbeku, cunning tortoise, plugged the anus of the goat with a corn cob to prevent him from defecating. I remember this story distinctly, the moral of the story but best of all in this memory was the experience of being close to our mother.
As the night wrapped closely around us, our mother followed the story with a meal of yam pottage. She even said she had made this without oil. That was incredible, in our young minds, as we knew we didn’t have palm oil in the house and marveled at her culinary genius amid the lack.
As a marketer, I can envision ten ways to sell my products around this story, for cooking recipes and accessories, lanterns, power generating sets because these elements were so subliminally infused into this grain of memory that I have carried around with me.
We’ve always been storytellers.
Man is a storytelling animal. This is how we’ve handed down age-old knowledge and values. It is how we have shaped our shared meaning and perception of the world. Most of what you believe had been formed by the institutions and people who shared these with you through stories. We’ve always told stories but the disconnect in our approach, especially as marketers. has been mainly fueled by the focus on the peripheries, the glam, and focus on celebrity casts in our narratives or advertising.
People Buy on Emotion and Justify Logically
This is true to a large extent. From the perspective that I’m more likely to buy from you based on how much I trust you, this behavioural insight holds true. This varies with products and environments but largely, this is true. Customers are more than twice as likely to buy from a brand they trust, going by the 2019 Endelman Trust barometer.
Storytelling helps with recall.
Storytelling unlocks recall for your brand because please associate experiences with brands than with the facts embedded therein. We don’t remember the Facts; we remember by emotions. The better story is the one that emotes through metaphors and structure that builds. This is especially important seeing as Resonance is about emotional connection – people resonating with your message, aspirations, and values. A study has shown that only 5% of your audience will remember the statistics, but 63% will remember the stories.
Storytelling is so powerful.