manonstageStorytelling is not something that modern day marketers developed. It has been a part of human communications as far back to the time our ancestors lived in caves. Storytelling is not just for kids. Corporate storytelling produces strong benefits and results for the adult business. Storytelling is a pivotal part of marketing, communications, and business. Without it, consumers find it difficult to connect and advocate for something. Storytelling can and should be used in any business because it can drive loyalty, advocacy, and trust. This blog looks at various categories of corporate storytelling.

The Power of Story:

  • Stories help us understand Products and Services: It is the way people sense such attributes as utility and quality.  Stories help your targeted buyers to put things in perspective. Corporate Storytelling helps them navigate overwhelming amount of data, facts, and options that are presented to them. Businesses that use stories to show how a product/service can be beneficial, form stronger connection with their customer/client.
  • It is human nature: When you tell someone about your product or service, don’t just tell them product specification. Communicate more emotionally by telling them success stories of other buyers. We do not operate in the realm of data, it is counter-intuitive to how we are hard-wired, which is why corporate storytelling is so powerful.
  • Don’t overwhelm with data: When it comes to buyers and employees remember you are speaking to a person. People don’t digest data the same way as our electronic devices. Data can be beneficial, but most people are looking for a connection.
  • It is no longer a ‘Business’ connecting with a ‘Consumer’. It is people connecting with people. Businesses need to understand who they are speaking with and craft their communications so that it is relevant. People will not connect with a business that offers no emotional connection and that doesn’t meet a need.
  • Not communications – it is dialogue: Buyers have a larger say in marketing and branding because the way consumers communicate has shifted. People are listening to other people as opposed to large campaigns. The value of word-of-mouth has soared, and social media allows people to see what others are saying, in real-time. Two-way communication is very powerful

happy-sadBuyer Decisions are mainly emotional

Since a buyer may make their buying decision in 5 minutes and spend 55 minutes trying to logically defend the emotional decision, emotional impact is very important from branding, to marketing and sales, to human resources. Storytelling provides that initial emotional impact. Here are some of the emotional aspects of a business story:

  • Emotional connection. – Adults may remember the feelings of emotions which can trigger memories or create resolve as a result of hearing stories. This is especially true when it comes to memories of quality, trust and service.
  • Understanding Others. – For example, stories can help non-profit organizations connect the lives of those they serve to those that support the organization.
  • Growing Intimacy. – Your buyers want and need to know that they are heard by you.

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Organizational Benefits

Corporate storytelling provides benefits and results in five organizational areas:

  • Internal communications
  • Sales & marketing
  • Training & recruitment
  • Brand building
  • Operations

The Blog Powering Your Brand With Stories provides details for each of these areas. Here is a summary of these benefits:

Internal communications

Employee engagement
Corporate mission
Culture
Best practices
Celebrating success
Reward & recognition

 

Key benefits: vision transfer, awareness, collaboration, increased morale, memorable
Main uses: Intranet, town halls, events, lunch & learns

Sales & marketing

Client experience: testimonials
Point of sale: retail, captive audience
Sales tools
Direct response
Advice & knowledge sharing
Peer to peer communication
Referrals process [internal / external]
Key benefits: increase conversion rate, shorten sales cycle, increase win rate, trust, customer as advocate, memorable
Main uses: online, retail locations, remote sales [tablets], email, events, presentations, proposals, trade shows, client seminars, vertical marketing

Training & recruitment

Show not tell
behavior modeling
Simplifying complex concepts
Key benefits: consistency, re-use, provides a simple take-away, memorable
Main uses: training sessions, Intranet

Brand building

Public / investor relations
Customer engagement
Community involvement
Philanthropy
Awards & achievements
Key benefits: trust, confidence, memorable
Main uses: online, events

Operations

B2B / partnerships
News
Interdepartmental collaboration
Research /customer insights
Key benefits: networking, efficiencies, memorable
Main uses: B2B portals, resource center, presentations, email

 

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