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The Power of Storytelling

Article written by Herlene Somook, Content Manager at NextStep 

· Blog Post,Branding,Entrepreneurship

Huddled around the fire, our ancestors gathered around to keep safe against predators of the night, resting after a day’s hunting and gathering. Here they wove a web of worlds filled with magical creatures, giants and fairies, gnomes, elves and other creatures that helped men cope with the harsh environments and the unexplained forces of nature. Telling stories along with crude paintings on cave walls became a way to keep track of the knowledge they gained in their primitive lives. With the development of man’s language and skills, our ancestors started building better shelters, cultivated the land and domesticated animals, thus the birth of communities as we know it. We became inventors of things, electricity, the telephone, the locomotive, which helped connect people from distant lands, creating a mixture of different cultures and practices, giving way for more stories to be unfolded.

The Power of Storytelling

Storytelling has connected humanity in more ways than one. It builds communities, stirs emotions, inspires movement and unifies us as humans.  Stories have a way of letting our guard down. It tickles our imagination and makes us want to hear more. All this time, stories still hold a magical power over us, a gift from the storyteller that we can’t help but indulge in.

This innate curiosity has baffled scientists for so many years and has become topics of many researches and experiments. One thing they found out was that stories are essential in our development as human beings. The need to express ourselves and communicate with other humans have affected us positively and contributed to the growth of our brains. In fact, listening to fictional stories affected the part of the brain that reacts when we are in a real life situations. People integrate their knowledge of the world with the characters in the story. They relate to it as if they were the protagonist, and think of its complications as if it was their own.  Stories affect our emotions and let us empathize with the characters in the story.

The power of storytelling has been utilized in marketing for so long. Brands like Coca-Cola, Oreo and The Dollar Shave Club has taken advantage of human emotions and drafted stories that pull heart strings, made us laugh and inspired us with their witty adverts.  Check out The Dollar Shave Club’s ad here.

But what makes a great story, and how do you tell yours as a brand?  Jon Mowat of Digital Doughnut sums it up perfectly using three points:

A Clear Message

Your priority is to send a clear message across. Make sure that your story is aligned with your brand’s identity. By keeping it simple, you are able to captivate your audience. Sticking to one message per content helps your audiences remember you better.

A Simple Structure

Keep your narrative simple by sticking to the basic structure: emotion, fact and action. Establish an emotional association: a memory, a situation, or a question that attracts the audience attention. Then comes the body of the text where you explore your facts and a compelling call to action that takes advantage of the emotional connection you made with your audience.

A Human Element

Introducing your brand as a character people can relate to is the ultimate goal of storytelling. Adding a personal touch to your stories, like letting them know about the struggles you had in establishing your business and how you overcame them helps humanize your brand. 

The magic of storytelling still proves to be powerful in this age. Despite the advancement of technology, one thing remains true: stories will never grow old.

So, what’s your story?

Herlene Somook is a creative entrepreneur based in Manila, Philippines. A graduate of AB Psychology, she was a Kumon Reading teacher for five years before jumping ship to the Business Process Outsourcing industry. She has been a digital nomad and freelance writer for a little over two years, and enjoys reading bedtime stories to her bouncing toddler.

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