In this time of year, there is a million-dollar question that is shared by any retailer: how to stand out among so much competition and attract customers’ attention on Black Friday?
The answer is not unique, because there are a series of possible strategies that can work very well for the date. But one of the most effective ways to truly engage and retain consumers is certainly storytelling, that is, the art of telling good stories.
Storytelling is a way of communicating the essence of the brand, the values, benefits and emotions that products and services can provide to customers. In fact, I dare say that good stories are so powerful that they may be able to change the consumer’s own purchasing decision.
Why? The answer lies in the way our brain processes information. Most people believe that the choices we make depend on rational analysis, when, in fact, emotion tends to come to the fore, including when it comes to consumption habits. And that’s not a problem! Neuroscience shows us that emotions are fundamental to decision-making, as they help us evaluate options and choose the one that brings us the most satisfaction. Furthermore, there is a lot that we do in non-rational ways. According to a study by Infobase, more than 90% of the information we consume is processed unconsciously.
In fact, emotions are also responsible for activating memory and learning. This is why stories are more easily remembered than data and facts without contextualization or narrative.
Therefore, by telling a good story, you are activating your customer’s emotional side, making them feel more involved and interested in your product or service. You are creating a memorable experience that goes beyond price and quality. This is what storytelling proposes: emotional connection and identification with the target audience, to generate trust, sympathy and preference.
How to tell a good story?
There are some techniques and elements that can help create efficient and captivating storytelling. See some of them:
– Know your audience: Who is your ideal client? What are your pains, desires, needs and expectations? What are your values, interests and preferences? What are your favorite communication channels? Do market research and create a persona that represents your target audience.
– Create empathy with your audience: this should be the first step. It is necessary to break down a barrier with customers who are in a hurry, don’t want to be disturbed or are just looking to see the price, and a good way to do this is to show empathy with the person and not with the sale. Yes, it seems bizarre, but it’s better to leave the sale in the background and show that you just want your customer to feel comfortable, happy and well, even if it means leaving without buying anything.
– Define your objective: What is the message you want to convey with your story? What action do you want your customer to take after hearing it? Keep in mind the purpose and expected result of your storytelling.
– Use emotional elements: use colors, images, sounds, metaphors, analogies, humor, suspense, surprise, etc. Make your client feel part of the story and imagine themselves in the situation you are telling them.
– Be authentic and transparent: do not invent or exaggerate facts that do not match reality. Be honest and consistent with your brand and your product or service. Don’t promise what you can’t deliver or what has no value for your customer.
Good storytelling is fun, educational, universal and memorable. These should be the pillars on which to base the production of what you want to tell.
Fun keeps the customer engaged and interested in what’s to come. Education awakens curiosity and increases knowledge. Universality allows stories to be relatable to everyone, because they relate to emotions and experiences that most people go through or have already gone through. And memorability means that they can be engraved in the minds and hearts of the public, allowing them to remember the brand and the product or service fondly.
Powerful and persuasive storytelling will differentiate your brand from the competition and increase your chances of selling more at any time of the year, including — and perhaps even especially — on Black Friday. Start telling good stories today!
*Rodolfo Brizotti Are you a Partner and Head of Creation, Planning and Content at EAÍ?! Content Experience, a live marketing agency focused on content experience and innovations in organizing events, incentive campaigns, promotions, awards and the most diverse brand experience activations. He has worked with major players in the market, such as Whirlpool, Heineken, iFood and Havaianas.