“Evolution tends to favor action over thinking. That hasn’t changed. Emotion controls the mind as it did when humans first came on the scene.
“People react much more emotionally than companies dare to think. Purchasing decisions are never driven by logic alone. Emotion and narrative are key, they are the very structure of mind and of human nature.
“All successful marketing campaigns – whether using primeval or post-digital technologies — have responded to this phenomenon.” ~ Dr. Bob Deutsch, cognitive anthropologist, BrainSells.com
Emotion and narrative… Remember these two crucial keys to content marketing.
I’m going to take a broader view and relate narrative to branding. Branding tells a story in the blink of an eye.
How can brands, which are designed to make an instant visual and emotional impact, take advantage of emotions and narrative to connect with consumers emotionally?
I am reading Dan Hill’s excellent book Emotionomics. He says this about branding and narrative:
“…brand equity accrues to the extent that a company’s brand story provides the two main components of a successful story. The first is an attractive personality. The second is positive signature associations by which the company becomes familiar and comfortable to members of its target market.”
In other words, a company’s brand works when:
- They develop a distinct brand personality
- They repeatedly use personality to establish associations with positive emotions
Three brand personalities come to mind:
Even if your company sells insurance, which – let’s face it – isn’t the most fascinating of products and services, you can adopt a personality that works to engage the subconscious emotional brains of consumers.
The duck is cute, and so is the gecko and the bunny. They grab our attention, encourage us to anticipate humor, stimulate positive emotions, and have become so familiar to millions of people.
So narrative doesn’t have to be contained in stories, although they also work to engage readers emotionally. Our brains are drawn to novel situations and a duck who quacks “Aflac!” is impossible to ignore.
Maybe you don’t want a caricature or an animal representing your brand story, although Bush’s Baked Beans does an good job with their company’s secret recipe and their dog. The importance here is that you’ll need something that sets you and your services apart from all the others.