The Value of Storytelling in Sales and Marketing

Great brands are easy to spot. They are iconic, talked about and present in our lives. Some of these brands are goods like iPods, or watches, some are cars,  while others are medical, like Aspirin. Brands extend past objects to people, like David Beckham or Obama and even to countries.What is that makes a brand great? Why do we have likes and loyalty to objects and do marketeers really have influence over our minds?

We certainly know our minds most of the time. We make choices of one product over others, hundreds, if not thousands of times a day and most of the time we do this without the really thinking about it. Choice of this over that is influenced by many factors and we are only starting to understand what makes us choose. Certainly our reasons for choice differ depending on the category we are choosing in.

So the general formula for brands we like are; brands we know, have experience with a brand or at least a previous experience with the parent company, where we have time to choose and the consequences of choosing that brand are not likely to be negative or the brand is the option where the outcome is most positive out of all the available options.

Dorota Iwankiewicz, adviser of marketing image says:

“If your brand can fit a story line your customer is telling themselves your brand can get integrated into the customers life.”

Storytelling is an effective communication method because stories create triggers that transport you to the shared vision of the idea faster than any other  form of communication. On the other hand stories can miss their mark but still be useful in overcoming issues in the audience’s mind that stop them getting to a shared vision. In both paths are supported by storytelling.

As brand makers we are all trying to get our brands used and heard by our audiences but the challenge of being listened to is getting harder.  So why is that? Why do our brands either connect of fail to connect? There are five levels of brand storytelling that you need to consider when ou think about building your story so you can be sure you are going to connect to your audience.

  • Level 1: Reciprocity, drive and enthusiasm
  • Level 2: Inspiration, persuasion and motivation
  • Level 3: Trust and authenticity
  • Level 4: Choice and freedom
  • Level 5: Happiness

The stories we are talking about are not fairy tales. For some people its natural to think that we mean the type of story that we tell children. While that is a possibility and the simplicity of children’s stories is worth looking at, we arereally talking about the small bites of communication that we can use. The style of narrative allows meaning and context to be understood. When we present our proposal of  multilevel strategy for our clients we use story. After that they quickly understood the whole of agency’s presentation. And you have to know that storytelling supporting great brands.

In pharmaceutical sales (it’s one of big segment of our portfolio and clients), this model just as valid. Stories communicate the value of the therapy, how and where to use it. There are may times when the story doesn’t transport the audience to the shared idea. Objections are the classical way sales teams work through discussions with physicians, using evidence based medicine to discuss concerns and build confidence. Storytelling helps here too. Case studies, narratives and stories of how other people overcame similar issues are effective at getting across the evidence for your brand.

Loyalty comes from brand authenticity and user experience. We love fans. They are better than customers because they will go beyond your vision of the brand. They tell you how to sell to them and in return for your listening and repeated delivery of your brand promise that resonates with them, they reward you by becoming advocates. They tell your brand story for you and make it credible with their own authenticity.  Brand fans are more than rationally involved with the facts of your brand, they have belief in your brand and see a bigger picture. Loyalty then is the repeated acceptance of your core brand promise and the interplay with the users emotions and experiences. But can marketing pull the wool over customers eyes and influence them to do things against their will? In some superficial ways yes marketing or advertising can create temporary movement but this doesn’t create fans and has  been shown to be unsustainable. This model trades on, at best mis-truths and often on deception. The lack of authenticity is felt and the brand support dies.

Creating your customer experience based on the way they organically want to use and see your brand will create, loyalty, trust repeating it the experience creates authenticity. Stories then are the way that you can build brands that help customers organically accept your brand into their life.

And we know that it is direct way to success and money.

You want more? Write: office@dm2agency.co.uk

2017-11-09T16:56:16+00:00

About the Author:

DOROTA IWANKIEWICZ, FCIM | Senior Strategic/Marketing Professional | External&Internal Branding Specialist | CIPD & CILEx member | Dorota combines 20 years of experience and constant development in the range of influencing people as a senior marketing/strategic professional and a managing director conducting manufacturer's projects. As a senior marketing professional: she accompanies DM2 Agency’s clients to achieve their defined goals, using knowledge and rich resources from neuromarketing, behaviourism, psycholinguistics. Dorota is the author of an educational programme about the art of persuasion, protected by the intellectual property law and implemented by the best Polish universities, and she is a co-leader of business workshops cooperating with the top law’s firm from City London. Her portfolio, gathered for many years, represents examples of effective marketing&PR campaigns eg. VISA, Mastercard, GSK, British America Tobacco, Geberit. She was a leader in European transitional programme (cooperation: Poland and UK) focused on training systems in order to develop employability, improving the labour market according to EU programme Europe 2020 growth and jobs strategy. Dorota is future-focused, inquisitive and open-minded; seeks out evolving and innovative ways to add an irresistible value to the clients/organisations. She consistently leads by example, acts with integrity, impartiality and independence, balancing individual, organisation and legal parameters. EXPERTISE: Leadership and Management | Communications strategy | Negotiations | Neuromarketing | Public Relations | Employer Branding | Employment Law | Psycholinguistics

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