Story telling helps brands en­gage peo­ple

Business Day (Nigeria) - - MEDIA BUSINESS - MIKE UMOGUN

In the opinion of Chris Og­bechie, Pro­fes­sor of Strate­gic Man­age­ment La­gos Busi­ness School, in to­day’s mar­ket­ing world, the key is­sue is to cre­ate emo­tional brand at­tach­ment in all our mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions, there­fore, brands need to ac­tively cultivate re­la­tion­ships with cus­tomers. A pow­er­ful but mean­ing­ful way to do this is by good story telling. Sto­ry­telling is one of the old­est and most pow­er­ful modes of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Sto­ries are more eas­ily re­mem­bered by peo­ples be­cause the hu­man mem­ory is story-based. It’s the use of in­for­ma­tion in a nar­ra­tive form to mo­ti­vate po­ten­tial and prospec­tive tar­gets.

In Africa, Nige­ria sto­ries are used in teach­ing sim­ple les­sons and for sim­pli­fy­ing com­pli­cated moral sit­u­a­tions.

Not only does the story telling model work ev­ery time, the mes­sage lasts longer and im­pact of such sto­ries pro­found. Abidemi Ju­naid a com­mu­ni­ca­tion eval­u­a­tion spe­cial­ist at the Kan­tar Com­pany takes it a step fur­ther by say­ing most com­pli­cated mes­sag­ing are bet­ter done by mak­ing the core is­sue sim­ple thus mak­ing trans­mis­sion and com­pre­hen­sion faster and long last­ing.

Con­sumers love a good story. Sto­ries are the rea­son we stay awake late to fin­ish a book, watch a movie or binge watch on Net­flix. Sto­ries en­gage us like lit­tle else. So why do we not see more sto­ries used in ad­ver­tis­ing? If done right, sto­ry­telling can make your com­mu­ni­ca­tions more en­gag­ing, more im­pact­ful, and more mo­ti­vat­ing for your brand.

A story needs to be a clear nar­ra­tive arc, one scene needs to in­flu­ence or build upon an­other to tell a story. For the pur­poses of ad­ver­tis­ing, how­ever, not any story will do. It takes skill and thought to make a story an ef­fec­tive creative tool for your brand.

Kan­tar’s global neu­ro­science prac­tice uses fa­cial cod­ing to demon­strate the power of sto­ry­telling as a creative tool to en­gage view­ers, to iden­tify whether a story is work­ing for a brand and how it might be im­proved. Based on test­ing thou­sands of ads fa­cial cod­ing con­firms what we have pre­vi­ously found in our Link pre-test: sto­ries have huge po­ten­tial to en­gage the au­di­ence and to mo­ti­vate them.

While most con­sumers are in­dif­fer­ent to­ward brands most of the time, sto­ries can help brands en­gage peo­ple and over­come their in­dif­fer­ence.

The first job of any ad­ver­tis­ing is to en­gage the au­di­ence, to at­tract and hold their at­ten­tion, and story ads do just that.

Story ads typ­i­cally re­sult in greater en­joy­ment and en­gage­ment than non-story ads, ob­served in both more ex­pres­sive fa­cial re­ac­tions and stronger rat­ings on the key Link ques­tions, in­di­cat­ing a greater abil­ity to at­tract at­ten­tion and be re­mem­bered.

Once an ad has at­tracted at­ten­tion it must then es­tab­lish a mo­ti­vat­ing im­pres­sion of the brand. Aca­demic re­search has shown that nar­ra­tive trans­porta­tion, or los­ing one­self in the flow of the story, pre­dicts how well a viewer will re­call a story and whether they will act later. Re­search by Kan­tar con­firms that, if well-crafted, story ads can have more mo­ti­va­tional power than non-story ads. The most suc­cess­ful mes­sag­ing oc­curs in sto­ries where the brand’s role is nec­es­sary, be­liev­able, and in­te­gral to the plot. Umogun is a brand an­a­lyst based in La­gos

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