The Storytelling Framework in Branding

The Storytelling Framework in Branding

Storytelling is as old as language itself. In fact, it’s older because the first human species used to tell stories on cave walls with pictures.

Storytelling has been a primary method of transferring information from generation to generation for millions of years.

It’s been a huge part of our evolution as a species and storytelling becomes part of our DNA on the chemical functions of our brains.

Although the methods for how we tell stories has changed over the years, the desire to hear and tell stories remains unchanged and still plays an important role in our daily lives.

We absolutely love a good story, as people when we hear a story, We focus our attention because we have this innate desire to want to know what happens.

In his book The Storytelling Animal, Jonathan Gottschall says,

“We are as a species addicted to story even when the body goes to sleep.”

The mind stays up all night telling itself stories, of course would add too much explanation on it.

We can figure out why we love stories?

Stories allow us to see into the past.

We hear the triumphs of the winners and the trials of the losers. These teachings allow us to understand, learn and evolve.

But there’s so much more scientific explanation than that as well in storytelling.

“When we hear a story we look for ourselves in it.”

If we find ourselves, then the story has resonated with us and our brain produces increased levels of a chemical called Oxytocin.

Oxytocin is a chemical that increases our feelings of trust and empathy. It motivates cooperation with others by enhancing our empathy and our ability to experience the emotions of other people.

Unsurprisingly it’s referred to as the love hormone and that’s what we feel when we hear a good story.

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In recent years advancements in science have identified an event called neural coupling, which explains our affinity with the storytelling from a much more scientific perspective.

There’s a TED talk by Uri Hasson, It’s called This Is Your Brain on communication which outlines our ability to transmit our brain patterns associated with memories and ideas into another person’s brain through story through series of brain scans and tests.

Stories activates a much deeper part of the brain.

Scientists learn that story activates a much deeper part of the brain than simple fact sharing.

The levels of communication are increased and synchronized brain activity leads to enhanced understanding and memory.

They also learn that these stories could then be transmitted from the listener to another person that didn’t hear the original story to produce a nearly identical pattern in the brain which highlights our ability to transmit memories and knowledge from person to person.

Although we all know that we love a good story, science has made some huge leaps in uncovering why in recent years. And as much as all of this is fascinating it doesn’t really pull on the heartstrings enough for such a topic.

We love stories because of the emotional journeys that they take us on. We see ourselves in the characters of this story and we develop feelings towards them.

We’re sad when they feel pain or happiness when they feel joy. We follow their journey as if it’s our own.

“People don’t want information.”

They want to be taken on a journey and a few can craft a journey that resonates with your audience. Then your journey becomes part of their journey.

Remember, you should articulate your storytelling in such a way that it should carry your listener along with your story.

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So, how to come out with an effective brand storytelling strategy?

Before we dive into the nitty gritty of brand storytelling let’s first reflect on your core message.

You developed your core message with both your primary inner core message and your secondary outer core message.

The elements that make up your core message are what we call message blocks.

Your differentiator key message is a primary message block while your values key message is a secondary message block.

These blocks hold the contents of your storytelling and we fill in the details of our story with the content and ideas from those message blocks.

Your core message is crafted from the fabric of your brand. So it shouldn’t change that much.

However the details or structure of that story may change as you evolve.

Your story is your method of delivery

It’s important to remember though your core message is what you want your audience to understand about your brand, while “your story is your method of delivery.” and you should also understand your audience with neuroscience marketing techniques.

OK, so you have this core message structure and you have this storytelling framework.

But how do you use them in the context of your brand?

Well, there are two main characters in our story which you’ve developed in building your brand.

They are your audience persona who plays the hero and your brand persona who plays the guide.

You have deep insights into these characteristics which will help you in developing the storytelling and the storytelling in turn brings more tonnage ability to the life of the personas.

Then you have your core message made up of your primary and your secondary message blocks which is the detail of the story that you actually want to tell.

Yes you’re telling the story of transformation but within that story will be multiple key messages that tie directly back into what you want your audience to understand about your brand which is the definition of your core message.

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Just as your core message is made up of message blocks. Your story is made up of story blocks which are the pillars of your brand’s story.

Each story block refer to your personas and the message blocks within your core message and begin to build a narrative around those pieces.

The focus here is on the audience persona who is the hero and the world that they live in as well which ties into the audience’s message block.

Let’s create a story by writing a copy

We have an excellent starting point. We can write about what they do for work, the car that they drive, what they do for fun.

If they have kids what they do on the weekends what their passions and beliefs are.

We can then think forward to where the hero might meet the guide and focus the detail of the existing world around that environment.

For example if you’re a guide who is your brand offers accounting services.

The large focus of your story could be around your audience’s work-life which can set the tone for the next story block which is the obstacle.

Now when you sit down to write your copy for the first time you might get a bit of a knot in your stomach.

If you’re not used to it and the reason for this is blank page syndrome which is kind of like the feeling that you get when you’re in the deep end or you’ve bitten off more than you can chew.

But don’t worry it’s perfectly okay, but just know that the more you think about it, the more that feeling grows.

So it’s best just to get stuck into the content.

Let’s start by writing down what you want to say first, before refining how you want to say it and allow yourself.

In fact force yourself to write as ugly as possible by writing only and saying what you want to say for each of the story blocks you’ll have the first draft.

However, ugly it might be of your brand story then slowly go back and make each story block a little less ugly by moving some of the words around replacing others and elaborating here and there.

By the end of the second round, your story should look a little less ugly.

Go back through your story a few more times making each story block a little less ugly.

Elaborating here and there by the fourth round you might find that what you have is not an ugly collection of words but an actual story with a strong foundation and structure.

It’s important to remember at this point that, this isn’t something that you’re going to stand up on stage and read aloud the end product will be your paperback version and unless you decide to publish it on your Web site for the most part it will act as a guide that directs your storytelling.

Neuromarketing: A better way to understand your Customer

Neuromarketing: A better way to understand your customer

The concept of Marketing is evolving day by day, it’s getting tougher for the marketer to understand consumer behavior and to design the strategy according to that. This neuromarketing is the new approach to this problem.

Martin Lindstrom, the main initiator. An international expert in Branding Policy. He was fascinated by the application of techniques derived from Neuroscience to Marketing.

He points out certain shortcomings of traditional marketing studies, which can be solved with the adoption of the Neuromarketing approach.

In the US, the first extensive Neuromarketing study was launched between 2004 and 2007.

What is Neuromarketing?

Use the advances made by neuroscience to improve the understanding of consumer behavior, in particular, consumers emotional, which hold the key to a part of their purchasing decision, but also their memorization and their positive or negative desires.

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Every human being is different with their own thinking and approaches. Using neuromarketing, you can rethink your strategies and create smarter marketing that will boost the effectiveness of your efforts.

The goal of neuromarketing is to understand how your customer’s brain works and what affects your marketing will have on the population of consumers.

This whole process involves, working on Brain and how it gives its instructions to the human body by secreting hormones or neurotransmitters.

By appealing directly to the brain, Neuromarketing avoids the biases of the questionnaire, difficulty in describing emotions or what our senses express.

There are two basic methods of tracking prospects’ brain activity which helps in neuromarketing and each with their own pros and cons:

Utilizing fMRI involves using a powerful magnet to track the brain’s blood flow as subjects respond to audio and visual cues. This allows examiners to access a deep part of the brain known as the “pleasure center” and lets neuro marketers know how people are really responding to their work.

EEG, on the other hand, is much cheaper than fMRI and by using a cap of electrodes attached to the sample’s scalp, it also allows for movement.

These electrodes measure electrical waves produced by the brain and allow researchers to track instinctual emotions such as anger, excitement, sorrow, and lust through fluctuations of activity.

Now a days, a large part of our purchasing is essentially linked to our emotions, we can see this tradition even with Gen X and Gen Y.

Emotions are progressively replacing the logic. Internet, virtual, and interactive world reinforces this trend even today, and this is where neuromarketing plays a crucial role.

By applying techniques stemming from Neurosciences, with an analytical tool, a state of mind, an approach and technical expertise, Neuromarketing will enhance today’s and tomorrow’s marketing.

As we know, customer needs becoming the number one source of inspiration in the development of products and services.

To succeed, neuromarketing must be capable of convincing customers, so they buy, and decision makers, so that they agree to give marketing the budget and resources necessary to please, convince and attract customers.

For marketers, customer experience always a trump card, the days of ‘Rampant Materialism’ are gone, we are living in the experience era, we want experiences that we can share, that creates fantastic memories.

So, the best neuromarketing principles are:

You don’t need an MRI or any medical equipment’s to know this

  1. Don’t use “we,” or talk about your corporation. Focus on your customers’ pain point, not yours.
  2. Get to the point. Your message is competing with about 10,000 other messages sent to the brain daily.
  3. Be visual. Don’t just tell about a product; show it. And if you can’t show an image, create a mental image for your customers.
  4. Keep it concrete. Ads with facial expressions, which help decode people’s intentions, are one example.
  5. Close strong. People pay the most attention at the beginning and end of an ad. This will help ensure memory storage
  6. Use emotion. Surprise, laughter, fear, and anger all cause disruption— and thus, trigger the memory.

Remember, experience must be vivid, original and intriguing to capture consumers imaginations and stir their emotions, for this Neuroscience is the best answer. To be truly successful, your marketing should encompass every human sense, and it should be neuromarketing.

It’s the fact that, customer’s real experience with the product or service will be shaped by his or her expectations and beliefs about that particular product or service.

All human feelings, thoughts, and actions, even consciousness itself are the products of neural activity in the brain.

For marketers, the promise of this idea-neurobiology can reduce the uncertainty and conjecture that traditionally hamper efforts to understand consumer behavior.

Consider studies how the brain predicts and manipulate consumer behavior and decision making. This is the best book that talks about neuromarketing in a deeper way.

Good Marketer often makes the sale using the feeling and emotions of the customers and then close the deal with a financial incentive that has an expiration looming.

Neuromarketing ground breaking studies potential to create value for marketers with powerful tool for learning about customers.

Advances in medicines, computer sciences, and radiology paved for the new studies.

The concept of Neuromarketing is just a beginning and we still have a long way to go. This will make your marketing effort much smoother. This is the future of Marketing.

Different People Different Thinking

Different People, Different Thinking

Since the dawn of time, people have thought differently, acted differently and fared differently from each other, different people, different thinking.

It was guaranteed that someone would ask the question of why people differed, why some people are smarter or more matured and whether there was something that made them permanently different.

Experts lined up on both sides.

Some claimed that there was a strong physical basis for these differences, making them unavoidable and unalterable.

Others pointed to the strong differences in people’s backgrounds, experiences, training, or ways of learning.

Who’s right? Today most experts agree that it’s not either-or. It’s not nature or nurture, genes or environment. From conception on, there’s a constant give and take between the two.

In fact, as Gilbert Gottlieb, an eminent neuroscientists, put it, not only do genes and environment cooperate as we develop, but genes require input from the environment to work properly.

At the same time, scientists are learning that people have more capacity for lifelong learning and brain development than they ever thought.

Of course, each person has a unique genetic endowment. People may start with different temperaments and different aptitudes, but it is clear that experience, training and personal effort take them the rest of the way.

Robert Sternberg, writes that the major factor in whether people achieve expertise “is not some fixed prior ability, but purposeful engagement”

We have seen so many people, thinking of proving themselves, in the classroom, in their career even in their relationships.

Every situation calls for a confirmation of their intelligence, personality, character or attitude. Every situation is evaluated, will I succeed or fail? Will I look smart or dumb? Will I be accepted or rejected? Will I feel like winner or a loser?

There’s another type of people, in which they think these traits are not simply a hand you’re dealt and have to live with, always trying to convince yourself that you have a royal flush when you’re secretly worried it’s a pair of tense.

In this thinking, the hand you’re dealt is just the starting point for development. This thinking is based on the belief that your basic qualities are things you can cultivate through your efforts, your strategies and help from others.

Although people may differ in every which way-in their initial thinking, talents, aptitudes, interests, or temperaments-everyone can change and grow through application and experience.

In this Digital age, as a Marketer we can easily find out, interests, thinking, habits, likes-dislikes of these Digital people. This is the basic to study your customer thought process before getting into marketing funnel.

Once you understand your customer mindset, then it is easy to plan according to that.