Build loyalty by hooking the brain and heart

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During the Lumiere brothers premiere of their film, The Arrival of a Train, in 1896, there was a near riot because people thought the train shown coming toward them on the screen was about to run them down.

Deep in our brains there’s an area called the limbic system, it’s the center of emotions and our fight-or-flight response. In this part of our consciousness, we don’t know the difference between the movies we watch or the things we read or hear, and our actual experiences.

When we’re emotionally invested in a story, our brains are stimulated. This is true whether it is a novel or a brand story.  It’s not only easier for us to remember stories versus the hard-cold facts, but when we are engaged, we are more likely to take action like dropping the cereal box in our cart, signing up for a webinar, or impulse-buying a Thighmaster.

How do we write a compelling brand story? It starts with empathy. According to Merriam-Webster, empathy is “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.”

For marketing, it means messaging from the point of view of your prospect or customer, not starting with your products or service offerings. First you must know your audience and the challenges they face. What is bothering them? What are they talking about? When do they make the decisions to buy? Then you can show how you solve those pain points and make customers happy.

When you write using empathy it not only focuses attention, it motivates action and behavior. You have the opportunity to make a personal connection to the audience. You have an opening to create a memorable brand experience that is captivating, entertaining, and most of all human.

Your brand story is a hero’s journey with your customers at the center. Their challenge becomes an adventure where they are victorious in the crisis because of your brand, and they come home changed. If your customers personally relate to these conflicts, they can imagine what it would be like to have the same experiences you’re conveying in your storytelling.

The best brand stories leave prospects and customers inspired. They feel fulfilled by the story’s resolution and develop closer ties to the brand. It builds trust. This translates to more engagement with your organization and a deepened commitment to shared values.

With an emphasis on empathy and stories, our marketing is focused on:

  • Creating content centered on conversation and building relationships
  • Developing journeys that are personalized
  • Improving and optimizing campaigns to be sure we are engaging our audiences

Want to learn more about empathy marketing and storytelling? Listen to Wiley’s Lance Osborne on bringing Empathy and Immersion into Marketing or read The Science Of Storytelling: How Narrative Cuts Through Distraction Like Nothing Else

And that’s the end of this story.

The post Build loyalty by hooking the brain and heart appeared first on Relationship One.

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