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From a very young age we love listening to stories and, as we grow older, we respond to tales and anecdotes. Brands need to inject the magic of storytelling into their marketing to tap into people’s emotions.

The way companies can tell their stories has changed. No longer is it purely through advertising or news articles. Today, a brand’s narrative can be told just as effectively through social media and crowd-sourced content.

Authentic stories need to be told. Ultimately a brand’s story is not just something businesses should refer to every time they launch a marketing campaign or issue a press release. It should be the foundations on which a future growth strategy is built.

A good story must be credible to resonate with the target audience. You have to tell the truth and then spin the story for marketing purposes. Obviously you need good products but the success of many brands is linked to emotion. A strong story based in reality will bring your message and values to life in a way the consumer can believe in.

Storytelling can set you apart from the competition. A brand’s narrative can set a company apart in a competitive sector.

A strong story is engaging, and creates brand advocates and repeat sales. A brand’s story can change consumer perceptions, especially if you want people to repeat the narrative on your behalf.

A good story makes you feel something and is universal. People want to grasp your values and your commitment to excellence; be inspired and intrigued. Storytelling is the most powerful way to convey these ideas.

Expose the true story – setbacks, conflict, compromises and ultimately success.

Traditional media, can be an influential way to express a brand’s story. And a speech is about as traditional as it gets.

There is still a big place for direct mail to tell stories. Its great benefit is that it is personalised, and it tends to stay around the home so it can be seen again and again by the addressee. Mail also adds an extra dimension to the work done online, so the two work best together.

The best stories tap into people’s emotions because someone genuinely connects to what a brand stands for or where it has come from. The marketers who can paint the pictures and create such personal relationships are well on the way to establishing long-term brand loyalty.