Why we like stories

2 mins read

‘Blind man without a pension’ said a sign on the street 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…

 

According to academic Shane Snow, this is what happens when we move from factual information to stories. Why? All the science shows that we are programmed for stories – their initial purpose being to pack up and convey information to others for survival. That’s why stories about wolves, evil people and today cyber-crime are always so popular.

 

A story’s second function is to help foster relationships in groups. Stories about country heroes connect us to our country, stories we tell around the dinner table unite a family or group of friends. Stories are so built into our system that come night, we continue to tell ourselves stories… in our dreams.

 

Why stories are useful for business

Good stories connect us to the storyteller. They make us care and want us to build a relationship with that person. So, brands that tell a good story are naturally more attractive – to consumers of course but also to their staff. This means better brand stand out, higher sales prices and higher staff loyalty. All thanks to a good story.

 

Now to work, a story needs to touch people’s emotions AND be credible. It’s actually reassuring to know that stories that don’t seem plausible are either rejected or ridiculed, and the brand, group or person with it.

 

A golden opportunity

 So, investing time to shape up your story is incredibly profitable. What’s more, today, there’s social media’s platforms – now used by 4.2 billion people, more than half the world’s population – to spread your story.

 

What’s the story you want to tell?

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