Storytelling and the art of persuasion

The power of storytelling doesn’t end in childhood and brands know it. Dr Danielle Chmielewski-Raimondo, lecturer in the Bachelor of Commerce, explains why stories are so important to marketing in this bite-sized lecture.

Is there a brand or product you absolutely love? If so, chances are it wasn’t the price that won its place in your heart. Like most loves in life, our emotional connections to brands stem from the feelings they evoke more than their objective qualities.

This is why the most successful brands connect with and appeal to the emotions of consumers. As Dr Chmielewski-Raimondo explains, we often buy something because “it will allow us to engage in a form of self-expression, or it will allow us to position ourselves in a certain way, or to experience or feel something.”

Storytelling plays a key role in generating this emotional response and is more prominent than ever thanks to social media. Brands rely on their customers to engage with and share their content online with their own networks.

“Brand storytelling is about using messages or a campaign or a storyboard or a promotion, that’s designed to get people talking, to inspire conversation and…to inspire sharing,” Dr Chmielewski-Raimondo says.

Once a brand has created a story that is worth sharing, they can use this narrative to not only sell products, but to sell experiences.

“…Where storytelling is used, it brings in that really important human element and allows you to connect and resonate viscerally, emotionally with people. [You can] make them feel they’re really experiencing something, as opposed to just doing something,” Dr Chmielewski-Raimondo explains.

This creates a much larger emotional buy-in. It’s not only ‘What product do we buy?’ but ‘What story are we buying into?’