Yes, it is actually preferred if you are an emotional storyteller in more professional spaces than you may think. These organizations typically use emotional storytelling and branding to convey an emotion that will draw people in. And if they do it correctly, not only will they have these customers stick around for a while, they may perhaps even purchase a product or donate to their cause.
Whether it be through digital advertising, a New York Times article, or a nonprofit organization, they all use elements of emotional storytelling to draw in the reader and invite them to stay for a while. You may find yourself asking, “How do I know if what I’m “saying” is going to create an emotional reaction?” We’re here to help you with that with our 5 tips to becoming an emotional storyteller for the purpose of branding. Before we dive in, let’s take a stroll around the science behind storytelling.
The Science Behind Emotional Storytelling
A neuroscientist, Antonio Damasio, discovered that when studying people who had sustained brain injuries to the portion of their brain where emotions are generated, they couldn’t make decisions. Logically, they could explain everything that led up to making a decision. Still, there was no way for them to conclude what they wanted to do when it came down to it with their lack of emotional consciousness.
Furthermore, a study conducted by Pamela Rutledge, Everything is Story: Telling Stories and Positive Psychology, gave a breakdown of the different forms of storytelling, both personally and professionally.
According to Rutledge, the key to fully comprehending the power of a story was the ability to feel connected through openness. “The ability to translate our life story not only helps us achieve a new cognitive understanding that facilitates acceptance, it provides a vehicle for communication with others. One’s willingness to be open and authentic connects one to a social world.”
Now, couple the science of decision making with the science of communicating stories, and that is how emotional storytelling works for the benefit of brands on a global scale.
There are hundreds of studies online that you could read about the psychology of storytelling and how it affects our decisions. I highly recommend that if you are trying to convey your brand to a specific or even general audience, you understand the psychology behind it as well. After all, emotions are at the core of decision-making. Emotional storytelling can help facilitate those decisions a consumer is making for your brand’s benefit.
5 Tips to Mastering Emotional Storytelling
Now that you know a little more about the scientific background of emotional storytelling, let’s go over five simple tricks that you can use to better portray your brand.
1.What Is Your “Why”?
To create an emotional storyline that conveys to your general or specific consumer, you need to have a “why.” Your why is what your brand or organization is trying to achieve. From copywriting to photography or graphic design, they all have to reflect your why. Once you understand why your message is of value to you and those you intend to view it, it will allow for everything else to be planned around it.
2.Know Who Your Audience Is
The growth that a brand is looking for will primarily come from people’s connections with the brand. That being said, to successfully grow your audience, you first have to get to know your audience. Studying the demographics of those you are serving your brand will help you understand what they are looking for out of you. More importantly, what you need to change as a brand to better serve those you want to reach through your emotional storytelling.
3.Pick a Positive
You might be thinking, what does picking a positive even mean? Well, when it comes to choosing a brand that you would like to support or purchase a good or service from, positive emotion is typically associated with your decision. As a brand, picking a positive sentiment for your brand to resemble will help you to connect with your customers and draw them into your product or service. Below are examples of positive emotions that your brand could choose from to portray through their emotional storytelling:
4.What Makes This Relatable?
It’s as simple as it sounds. What about your story creates an emotion that is relatable to your target audience? By relatable, that does not always mean that the person viewing or reading your story had to have experienced the same thing. For example, they could have prior knowledge about the subject from doing a deep dive internet search one night or being associated with someone who has experienced the emotion you’re portraying that has now left an impact on them.
5.Be Memorable and Real
Being authentic and honest in your storytelling will more than likely invoke an emotional response in your target consumer that will be memorable. However, sometimes being “real” doesn’t always do the trick enough to be memorable. This could mean that your brand has to use other elements of positive psychology to leave a lasting impression. Examples of this could include using bright colors associated with happiness or choosing the right background song for your new campaign video.
Next time you find yourself stuck or wondering how to create an emotional storyline for your brand, start by asking and acknowledging the five tips above. This will allow you to go beneath the surface of what your brand is capable of and provide you with a greater understanding of what you need to build off of.
At Push Digital, we have enjoyed working with many brands that also use emotional storytelling to adequately convey their message or why. Check out some of our Brands Team’s powerful work over the years as we keep on pushing these companies forward.