There are many things a business can do to increase customer loyalty. Some companies rely heavily on offering conveniences and discounts to return customers, and others ask their clients to provide them with feedback at all stages of interaction. However, nothing seems to stimulate customer engagement as well as a well-written brand story.
And there’s no psychological trick behind creating enticing storytelling, either. It’s all about good writing and a well-crafted narrative. Furthermore, people are really passionate about other people’s personal accounts. When being exposed to great stories, numerous regions in our brains activate, followed by a short-term change in our hormone profile. In this article, we discuss why you should invest some time and effort into business storytelling.
It makes your business more human
The reason storytelling matters for businesses is that it’s an essential medium for our customers to create an emotional bond with the service or the product since they have a narrative to relate to. Needless to say, the world’s most successful companies are well aware of the importance of providing something beyond just a product but instead letting their customers share their vision and be a part of the company’s success.
People all over the world have slowly started shifting towards more locally-sourced, artisanal products made by small-scale businesses, due to the fact that they slowly started losing trust for large corporations and marketers. People crave doing business with people.
Having a human story behind your brand will change your approach towards business and the way you’ll handle customers. A great example is MailChimp. This company has developed a fantastic style guide, which shapes all of their writing. They not only have a brilliant story behind their brand, but they also take a human approach:
“At MailChimp, we’ve walked in our customers’ shoes, and we know marketing technology is a minefield of confusing terminology. We treat every hopeful brand seriously. We want to educate people without patronizing or confusing them.”
This is how a brand can convert empathy to loyalty. By having a more holistic approach towards your service and not just providing it on the books, but actually connecting emotionally with your customer, you’ll be able to build a user/customer base founded on loyalty.
Stories change the way we think
We are social creatures and our behavior is deeply rooted in this principle. We connect with people around us, even if they’re total strangers to us. People engage with other people’s stories, simply due to the fact that they can relate to them. Maybe they haven’t necessarily been in the exact same situation, but they’ve most certainly been in hard situations, having to make sacrifices and difficult decisions. Our instincts tell us that there is a lot of wisdom to be extracted from other people’s reports.
Staying focused on another person’s narrative has an impressive effect on our bodies, especially our brains. An exciting narrative raises our oxytocin levels, according to Paul J. Zak’s research, published back in 2013.
Stories make us feel safe
Elevated oxytocin is normal when we are around people that we love and care about. Higher levels of oxytocin are also very common during physical, social interactions like handshakes, hugs, pats on the back, and so forth. Similarly, oxytocin levels, as research suggests, increase when we are exposed to stories, both written and narrated.
This hormone signals our bodies that there is no imminent threat to our safety and that everything around us is fine, which suggests that it is okay to interact with anyone around us.
Brands that have taken the time to craft exciting story ensure that their customers have more trust for their company and thus are more loyal.
Stories give your business an extra dimension
By not tapping into storytelling, you might be limiting your business to the platitude of simply providing your customers with a service, thus not leaving too much space for your clientele to bond with emotionally. Whereas allowing your customers to engage with your content will enable you to showcase your company’s authenticity and transparency.
“When it comes to content, authenticity is one of the crucial aspects that allow customers to connect with a business emotionally. “— Dina Indelicato, writer at PickWriters.
There is now a growing body of research that suggests that brands that have an authentic voice generate much bigger returns, compared to companies that refrain from doing so. Once a content strategy is built on the basis of authenticity, it will by default add much more to the business’s customers.
Similarly, companies that are open about their operations are also much more likely to generate more significant revenue. Customers find it impressive when a business takes responsibility for its mistakes, instead of just acting that it never happened. Slack is a great example, they’ve recently published a post where they bring their apologies to a number of customers for having deleted their accounts.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure transparency:
- Be transparent about where you source your materials from.
- Be transparent about how you price your products or services.
- Be transparent about your customers’ experiences.
- Create content that aligns with your mission and your customers’ goals.
- Create content that makes customers feel comfortable about doing business with you.
Business has changed its shape throughout the last hundred years. It’s safe to say that companies that do not focus on the customer in terms of services and content find it harder to excel in the current ecosystem.
People now care about a multitude of things, when choosing a company to take their business to, far beyond just the price tag. Customers are also very selective about the company’s “personality,” thus we need to focus on maintaining the same set of values and tone throughout our company’s lifecycle.
Considering the insight we’ve collected over the years in understanding how storytelling affects our brain, it is most definitely one of the essential components of a successful branding and content strategy.