Why Storytelling Works to Increase Product Demand

A good narrative has the power to move everybody who listens to it. Story is so strong that it is the single most important determinant in human survival. That's because our forefathers depended on narrative to secure their survival throughout history.

Essential teachings were handed down from generation to generation via storytelling. Lessons such as how to establish a cohesive group.

Which animals were the most suitable for food and clothe hunting? How to construct a shelter.

Which plants were safe to eat and which plants were poisonous? How should the plants be harvested? Along with a slew of other teachings that were essential survival skills.

When author and serial entrepreneur Peter Guber said, "The way we make sense of our lives is narrative," he effectively encapsulated the importance of story. The story isn't the cherry on top — it's the whole cake!"

And, since every brand's purpose is to persuade consumers to perform a desired action in some manner, it's critical that each brand tells a compelling narrative to its target audience. Whether it's a business seeking to persuade customers to buy a product.

Or a charity attempting to get others to donate. To elicit a desired action, a good tale is necessary.

Here are a few examples of how your company might utilize storytelling to generate demand for its products or services.

Have a definite goal in mind

Before beginning any great narrative, the storyteller should have a clear idea of what they want their audience to get out of it and what they want to do with it after they've received it. Some stories serve as cautionary tales, warning the audience against taking the wrong road.

Some are written solely for the purpose of eliciting laughter from the audience. The most successful tales, on the other hand, are written with the goal of inspiring the audience to take a certain action.

For example, my goal in producing this post is to assist and motivate my fellow marketers and company managers in using storytelling to successfully drive demand for their brand's goods and services (hence the title).

It's crucial to remember that the purpose of product marketing is to motivate people to take action. That activity, for the sake of this essay, is to generate demand for a product. However, in order for your tale to be effective, your goal should be more explicit in terms of exactly what you want your audience to do once you present it.

This might be the intention:

  • Getting a customer to place a pre-order for a product.
  • To save money, buy a large number of your items at once.
  • After a customer has completed a purchase, persuade them to tell others about your goods or services.

Whatever your intention is, keep in mind that no tale can be effective without a clear goal for the audience. This takes us to the second phase in creating product demand via narrative.

Select a target audience

Your tale can only connect with an audience that is ready to absorb it, no matter how good a storyteller you are.

For example, you could tell an inside joke about a coworker around the office water cooler, but if the people you're telling it to don't know who the joke is about or what the story's background is, the joke is unlikely to land as well as it would with a crowd that knows everything there is to know about the story. That's because the audience is the most important component of every great tale.

You should select an audience that is receptive to your product if you want to employ the art of storytelling to build demand for it.

You may do this by:

  • Choosing a target market that is interested in comparable items to yours.
  • Taking advantage of the clients of your rivals.
  • Presenting your narrative to the psychographic and/or economic demographics who are most likely to connect with it.

When it comes to eliciting action from an audience, the finest storytellers recognize that it is all about the audience, not the author. If you tell a tech joke at a plumbers union meeting, you'll probably get less laughs than if you tell the same joke at a Silicon Valley tech conference. In order for a tale to be successful, it must have the correct audience.

Make your audience the protagonist

Have you ever noticed that the storylines of some of your favorite movies are usually the same? A character (the protagonist) has a difficulty, which is generally created by another character (the antagonist).

The remainder of the film depicts how the protagonist overcomes their dilemma and goes on to live a better life and make the world a better place for themselves or others...in a heroic manner.

But, have you ever noticed that, in the period between the protagonist discovering their issue, defeating the antagonist, and becoming the hero, someone or something always helps the hero overcome the difficulties in their path?

It was his trainer "Mickey" in the previous Rocky films. It was B-pal Rabbit's "Future" in the film 8 Mile. And in the movie Home Alone, Kevin's ominous neighbor "Old Man Marley" turned out to be not that ominous after all...unless you were a thief (hey, he swung a mean shovel).

The problem is that most people grew up watching movies. And, after seeing such films, you undoubtedly want to play the role of the hero. While some wanted to be the villain, no one wanted to be the hero's trusted helper. Consider this: when was the last time you saw a Batman fan dressed up as Alfred for Halloween? …Exactly!

That's when your brand enters the picture. When conveying a tale to your audience, make sure your brand not only accepts, but loves the position of trusted companion – while letting the audience to be the protagonist.

That means ensuring that your audience understands that they are in charge of overcoming whatever is bothering them, and that your brand is just there to assist them in achieving their goals.

"Every human being wakes up each morning and sees the world through the lens of the protagonist," novelist and CEO Donald Miller said in his best-selling book, Building a Storybrand. Regardless of how altruistic, giving, or selfless a person we are, the world revolves around ourselves."

It's a well-known truth that almost everyone's favorite word is their own name. They appreciate hearing their name and being noticed by others, no matter how selfless they are.

Everyone views himself as the protagonist of their own story. So, no matter what sort of product or service your company offers, there's someone out there who your product or service might assist in being a hero and overcoming a challenge they're experiencing.

Target people who will most benefit from what you have to offer and assist them in becoming the best hero of their story by being the "Red" to their Andy Dufresne (Shawshank Redemption is one of the greatest movies btw).

Make a clear statement about what you want to happen

Now that you've established a clear goal for an ideal audience, you can assist them in becoming the finest hero of their own story. The only thing left is to explain to your audience how their lives will improve as a result of taking the measures you want them to do.

I'm sure you're wondering how to go about doing that, but don't worry, I've got you covered. Here are a few things to bear in mind that will make crafting the right tale to generate demand for your items much simpler. There are just three reasons why people buy goods.

These are the reasons:

  • Validation: They want the product or service to help them improve their social standing. (Expensive clothing, jewelry, vehicles, and gadgets, for example.)
  • Exhilaration - They desire the product or service to help them break the monotony of their lives. (Video games, cellphones, theme parks, ski excursions, and so forth.)
  • Alleviation - They want the product or service to solve a problem for them. (Food insecurity, filthy clothing, weight loss, housing, transportation, unpaid taxes, and so forth.)

Knowing that customers will buy your product for at least one of those three reasons, you can now write your tale in such a manner that it shows your audience how happy they will be after using it – and how they will beg you to buy it so they may improve their lives. Which it will, because - right? – that's how excellent your product or service is.

"As a copywriter, one of your most important jobs is to turn features into benefits by making them face outwards towards the reader so they can clearly see how the product will fit into their life," author Tom Albrighton noted so brilliantly in his book Copywriting Made Simple.

If your narrative demonstrates how your product's features will improve your audience's life, the only issue you'll have with product demand is finding out how to meet it.

Conclusion

I feel that telling a fantastic narrative requires a certain skill. Great tales have the ability to conjure up images in the minds of those who hear them. When utilized for good, they may motivate people to reach goals they never imagined possible. And when they're misused, they may lead to disaster.

As a storyteller, you should constantly utilize your craft to inspire people to be the greatest versions of themselves by motivating them to take the required measures to improve their lives (via narrative). And if your product provides them with what they're seeking for, your tale will leave a lasting impression on others who hear it, resulting in a desire for your goods.

Thanks to DeJuan Wright at Business 2 Community whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

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