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Why does storytelling matter?

‘Blind man without a pension’ said a sign in front of a beggar’s feet. Lucky for this poor fellow, French writer Jacques Prévert walked by him one day. He proposed an alternative line: ‘Spring is coming, but I won’t see it’. Result? The beggar’s hat filled up 3 times faster.

This is what happens when we move from factual information to stories. Why? All the science shows it: we are programmed for stories. Their fundamental purpose is to convey information to others for survival purposes. That’s why stories about wolves, evil folk and today cyber-crime are so popular.

A story’s second function is to help foster relationships in groups. Stories about national heroes connect us to a country, tales we tell around the dinner table unite a family or a group of friends. Stories are so in-built into our brains that come night, storytelling continues in the form of dreams !

How is this useful for business? A good story connects us to the storyteller – it creates a relationship with that person. So good story-telling brands are more attractive, to both customers and staff. The result is better brand stand-out, often higher sales prices and more loyal staff, all thanks to a good story.

Any story? No. To work, the story needs to touch people’s emotions and be credible. Stories that aren't a plausible fit are either rejected or ridiculed, and the brand, group or person with it. That's re-assuring.

What’s your story? Let’s talk about it.



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