Scientific studies and neuroscience confirm for us the epic power of storytelling to reach and engage people. Because humans are wired to respond to a story, that is why storytelling drives sales.
In a research, study students were asked to make a one-minute pitch to their class. Only 1 in 10 of the students told a story. On average the students utilized 2.5 data points in their pitch. After all the students had pitched, they were asked to take a sheet of paper and write down what they remembered from each pitch. Only 5% of the students remembered the pitches containing data, however, the study showed 63% of the pitches made using story were remembered.
Stories are memorable.
Storytelling drives sales.
Want your presentations to be remembered, shouldn’t you be presenting your ideas using story?
The year 2011 was the very first time I watched the Corning Glass video where they shared their forecast for the future of how we humans would interact with technology. The video produced by Corning is titled “A Day Made of Glass” (you’ll find it attached below). I watched in amazement as the video showed data moving from one glass surface to another with ease.
The day I watched that video was 7 years ago. To appreciate how unique Corning’s vision was we have to remember how we accessed digital information way back in 2011. Yes, we had smartphones, tablets, laptops and powerful desktop computers, however, those devices each worked independently of each other. To move data from one device to another required multiple keystrokes at best and lots of head scratching at worst, but that was our digital life in 2011.
Over 50 years ago Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel Corporation, gave us his thoughts on the future of technology when he gave us what we know today as Moores Law.
Gordon Moore proposed that computer processing speeds and overall processing power would double every two years. Today we know the idea Gordon Moore shared back then was prophetic.
We’ve come a long way baby!
When we look at the power of modern computers and compare their evolution to the evolution of another technology suite we use almost every day, the automobile, we gain perspective for the rapid growth of computing power. Let’s look at the automobile. Had automobile technologies advanced at the same rate as computers, today’s automobiles would attain speeds of 300,000 miles per hour, travel 2,000,000 miles on a gallon of gasoline, and wait for it, automobiles would cost just $0.04. That is an amazing comparison, highlighting just how fast and far computing power has come.
Computer technology is faster, more efficient and produced at a cost near zero dollars. Now we have begun to put computers in everything, and whats more we have given them the ability to talk to all of the other computers in our domains. Our cars will begin communicating with the refrigerator and thermostat at home which will communicate with the lighting in each room and even the clothing we wear. The speed and very low cost of computing power are delivering a world full of seemingly enchanted devices. Imagine a person from the early part of the last century, teleported into a major city in 2018 Surely she would think our modern world was full of enchanted devices.
The easy access to fast, efficient and low-cost computing power is what enables companies like Corning and LG to project the types of technologies they will be able to offer consumers in the very near future.
Take a few moments to watch the following videos. First, watch the video produced Corning Glass in 2011. Next, watch the video produced by LG in 2017.
So is all of this processing power a good thing or otherwise. Well, that’s a different post to write. However we all know this, our technologies have become indispensable. In many instances, we say good morning to our smartphone before we speak to our spouse. There are many great books written on the subject of how all of this tech effects us. Sherry Turkle wrote a very interesting book titled Alone Together where she tells us “Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.” Grab this book, it’s well worth a read.
When we think of the world of marketing a selling anything in the future why would we need people to assist us in those areas when our devices will know what we need when we need it and why we enjoy product (a) over the product (b). The groundswell of technologies will only become larger with each passing week and month.
The forecast for connected technologies is 50,000,000,000 devices all able to connect and exchange data with will be real by the year 2020. So buckle up because if we thought we saw a rapid change in the previous decade we ain’t seen nothing yet. The real question each of us needs to ask is, am I ready? If, the answer is no, then what do I need to do to be ready. The short answer is #ADAPT
Get comfortable, grab your favorite beverage, and think about how these technologies will impact your personal life. More importantly, if you are a solo-preneur, founder or employee, how will these technologies enable you to reach your ideal prospect or make running marketing campaigns more costly or simply more difficult to break thru to reach and engage your audience.
This short visual story is the signature story of the company FedEx. The founder and Chairman of Fed Ex, Frederick Wallace “Fred” Smith narrates. Mr. Smith’s narration is delivered with a somber cadence befitting his experiences in wartime Viet Nam.
He describes how when bullets were not flying overhead, he would observe how military logistics, a combination of air and ground transportation could save peoples lives.
When he returned home after his active duty service was complete, he founded Federal Express, using the military logistics protocols he’d observed in Viet Nam.
The story of the founding of FedEx tells the signature story of how Mr. Smith saw something broken in the world and set out to fix it. Although it makes a compelling signature story for FedEx, it is a more powerful story about the founder and his desire to share his story as a tribute to the 58,220 who never returned from the war.
Every brand should have a founding. Do you have a story that describes why and how you came to found your business?
If you do not have a signature story ready to share, and you want to get started working on it, we are here to help.
Storytelling has the power to change the biology in humans, in real time. Yep, that’s right, when you hear a frightening story cortisol is released into your bloodstream. The hormone cortisol is released in response to stress. When you hear a relatable and compelling story oxytocin is released into the bloodstream. Oxytocin has been called the trust molecule.
Approximately two thousand and five hundred years ago Plato said, “Those who tell the stories, rule the world.” Plato and his contemporaries knew that story exerted a special power over humans. Today neuroscience provides us with fact-based proof of the power of story. Science now validates what Plato knew anecdotally, way back in the day.
Today we do the work required to become better storytellers because science has given us proof that humans are called to take action, by great storytelling.
Neuroscientist, Dr. Paul Zak has conducted extensive research on human decision making, Dr. Zak wanted to know what makes people buy. Dr. Zak focuses his research in the area of neuroeconomics. During his research, Dr. Zak discovered he could forecast with great accuracy the percentage of a stipend paid to each participant would be donated to a non-profit at the end of the session.
After all of the research was concluded Dr. Zak authored a couple of fascinating books titled, “The Moral Molecule” where he discusses his decades of research into oxytocin and how it is instrumental in creating a sense of trust among strangers. Dr. Zak’s other book “The Trust Factor” is where he continues to make the case for oxytocin and presents how important it is to understand the connection between HOW we communicate and the levels of trust our communications engenders in business.
The power story wields to drive human actions and emotions is real. We humans have always been wired to communicate.
So, each of us should make the commitment to invest time in being better at telling our brand stories?
What is equally important doing the work to become much better at listening to the thoughtful, insightful and compelling stories/narratives of our colleagues, clients, and those all-important ideal prospects we seek to reach and engage?
Our team here at The Art of Standing Out – Story Lab, is here to help when you are ready to begin.
It is not unusual to hear a someone ask why marketers love story. The question should be why do humans love story. Yes, marketers tout storytelling as perhaps the most important tool for a business to gain expertise in. However, the truth is humans are now and have always been wired to respond to a story well told.
The infographic attached here provides a visual representation of how our brains respond to story. The infographic is a product of ETHOS3. They provide your business with award-winning presentations and design training. We are presenting their infographic here because it succinctly presents the neuroscience behind why we love story.
So, you need to know how to implement an effective social selling business plan? Who are you gonna call? Brynne Tillman! Brynne is Best Selling author of The LinkedIn Sales Playbook and Chief Learning Officer of Vengreso a modern sales and marketing knowledge center.
Our conversation covers a lot of ground.
We talk about the power shift that has taken place, where salespeople no longer wield the power of access to information. In the past, when a consumer wanted to know what a solution provider offered, how to implement it and at what cost, the consumer had to engage a sales representative to acquire that information.
Today’s consumer is now the most empowered consumer ever. The power of the internet and mobile media make acquiring information about virtually anything can be acquired at the frictionless speed of the internet. So, who needs a salesperson, no one does.
80% of consumers have researched the product or service they wish to acquire so well that by the time they contact a salesperson 80% of those consumers know what they want to buy and how much they want to spend.
With salespeople losing control and essentially being relegated to the role of an order taker, salespeople had to change, and fast.
How Social Selling saved the Sales
Social selling enables salespeople to do the work to understand the businesses they serve and the markets those businesses reside within.
Social selling has allowed salespeople to do the work to establish their authority in the field they work within.
Social selling has enabled the salesperson to get out of constant pitch mode to become more adept at collaborating with clients to deliver the best solution.
Here is a list of a few of the subjects we discuss:
Huthwaite Sales Model S.P.I.N
Challenger Selling Model by CEB
Miller Heiman Blue Sheet
LinkedIn as Brand Strategy vs. Resume
Using Advanced LinkedIn Features
Pre Call Planning
The Importance of Market Research
Defining the Buyers Journey
Establishing Thought Leadership
I enjoyed this conversation with Brynne. I hope you find the ideas and concepts shared in this podcast help you accomplish more sales.
Sit back, grab a notepad and your favorite beverage and listen in. When you have any question about data we discuss, leave us a message in the comments and we will get our response back to you pronto.
The Greeks challenged everyone that entered the temple at Delphi to Know Thyself. Delphi is an ancient Greek temple located at Pythia. The Greeks considered Delphi the center of their world. They believed special powers emanated from the sacred center of the temple. What an amazing experience it must have been to pass under the inscription “Know Thyself” then stride into the central chamber to stand at the center of the world.
The inscription was presented there, above the entrance, to remind all that passed to remember who they are and whoever they were they were not greater than their own mortality and that no one can escape their mortality.
Since the days of Delphi much has been written about the benefits of knowing oneself.
Fast forward to modern times and we find an old Dutch saying inspired by the words found above the entrance at Delphi. The Dutch say “We grow too soon old and too late smart.
The Greeks and the Dutch share the same sentiment, even though their ideas are separated by nearly 2, 500 years. The notion that the sooner we know ourselves, our strengths and weakness, the sooner we will know how to navigate toward opportunities and avoid the threats.
So, knowing oneself is a central element of building a successful life. The sooner we learn certain truths about ourselves all the better.
The Art of Standing out LLC is founded to help you harness the power that is baked into your story. The narrative of what makes you who you are and what the superpowers are that you are endowed with.
Yes, we know the thought of possessing superpowers would tend to add a bit of pressure and stress to the art of being you. However, you better believe in your superpowers because we all have something that makes us able to achieve remarkable things.
When you watch this short TedTalk video you will hear the presenters story. I will bet you right now, you will hear something of your story in her story. So, get comfortable, grab a snack, a beverage then settle in for this interesting 15-minute presentation. I found her story inspirational I hope you do too.
The cost of your success is found in your answer to the following question.
How are you willing to suffer?
This is post is my reading of a HuffPost article written by Mark Manson Entrepreneur and author and world traveler. He writes on how people can improve their lives, as well as social commentary and various life experiences at MarkManson.net.
This audio file requires 14 minutes from beginning to the end.
If you are a reader and prefer consuming this article in that way, I’ve attached a link to the article here: http://bit.ly/2iEfsll
However, you decide to engage with Mark Manson’s ideas about success and struggle, before you begin to find a comfortable space, grab your favorite beverage and maybe a close friend or colleague who might enjoy the topic too.
So, what is the cost of success? Mark answers the question by asking us another. What are you willing to suffer?
I enjoyed reading Mark’s insightful and thought-provoking answer to this question, I hope you do too.
Storytelling was the first form of social media. Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. To discover the power of storytelling just a little research on the great leaders throughout history will illustrate how they realized their vision, fought and won great wars built great civilizations because they knew how to govern by telling great stories.
Many of the lives of the greatest leaders have been turned into theater partly for our entertainment and mainly to canonize the story of those leaders for all time.
There is a great article written in the San Francisco Chronicle by Lauren Gunderson, playwright in residence at the Marin Theatre Company. http://bit.ly/2AVDUt4
“Think of this pitch to a room of venture capitalists: “What we’re proposing is a scalable, repeatable product that makes vital intellectual and emotional wisdom portable, communicable, and adaptable and memorable. Everyone will use it and keep using it for millennia. We call it: storytelling.”
A bit ridiculous, but I think of live storytelling as an ancient technology that has served human survival for centuries by wrapping critical knowledge in unforgettable characters, impassioned moments, or hilarious escapades. Stories are ancient social media startups, and ones so successful that they are still in play after thousands of years.”
1960 era theatre where people gather to watch stories be told
Today mobile media enables us to carry a powerful device which at any time we can command the device to magically deliver a story of our choosing to the mobile computer screen in our pocket.
What does it mean to humanize your brand? The answer to this question is pretty straightforward. When you humanize your brand you recognize it is important to engage your clients on a human level. Seems obvious enough, right?
Well many of us get so caught up in wanting to be the best we can be wrangling whichever social media platforms we believe reach and engage the ideal prospects we seek. We forget these platforms are simply tools, allowing us to reach and engage with other humans. When we remind ourselves to remember it’s the people we seek to engage, its the people that matter most, and not the technologies we use to reach them.
I know, we live during a time of rapidly advancing technology, which makes the awesome technologies available to us seem irresistible. Digital Darwinism makes being a capable hands-on user of the latest and greatest tech a necessity. Because when we don’t work at learning the latest and greatest, technology will outpace our ability to keep up. The fear of being left behind, the fear of missing out #FOMO drives us to learn to harness to power our technologies enable us to wield. Yet, once again, we must remember the power new media tech allows us to wield is communicating, human to human. When we focus on the tech we risk losing our capacity for human communication.
When you are a business leveraging technologies to deliver maximum value to the customers you serve, humanizing those technologies can make your technology more approachable. Humanizing your brand simply means you allow your audience of ideal prospects to understand that your brand like the founders and employees, have personality, and care deeply about the people in the markets they serve.
This short video is a great example of how Google chose to humanize one of their core technology offers, search. Watch and let me know it the comments if the video makes you empathize with the characters in the story. What do you think and feel while you watch? Let me know in the comments which parts of the video resonated most with you?
Storytelling is the best way to reach your audience. Stories and the best way to humanize your brand. Why, because we humans, we are wired to share and hear your stories.
Need help finding your most compelling stories? Give us a call, we are here to help you find and monetize the stories that humanize your brand.
Your brand story gives you special powers. The Greek philosopher Plato, once said: “Those that tell the stories rule society”.
Do you have a brand story to share? Your brand story includes, yet is not limited to, the story of your founding, why your products were built and, how your customers are changed after acquiring your product or services?
Storytelling is the oldest and most reliable tool available to leaders. So why do people resist telling their most thoughtful, insightful and compelling stories? Well, there is a host of reasons for keeping our stories bound up inside of us. None of those reasons are good.
How do we find inspiration for doing the work to liberate our brand stories? The great American poet Walt Whitman may provide us with some inspiration? Let’s read the last line of his poem Oh me, Oh Life.
“The powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse” Walt Whitman
Each of us has a story to tell.
In his poem, Walt Whitman says, each of us may contribute a verse. I take Whitman’s words to mean to truly be a member of the human race, each of us must contribute our verse.
Each of us has that singular thing making us unique and interesting. When we embrace our uniqueness and nurture it, is when we begin to harness it to serve us. Once we commit to doing the work to connect with and nurture our unique brand story, the words and ideas in our brand story serve as our very own superpowers. Perhaps sharing our unique story is what life is all about. So, stand up for your story and be counted.
We all have a superpower. We have something we know how to do that once harnessed and applied can help fix the things you see as broken in the world and in need of fixing. In order to harness those powers, first, you have to believe you are worthy.
Know what makes you remarkable?
Possess something people always favorably remark upon?
Acknowledge and feel worthy of your unique gifts?
Share your story with your internal and external partners and customers?
Did you answer yes to any one of the questions listed above? When you answer yes, it’s incumbent upon you to start actively share your brand story with the world. When you share your brand story, the unique attributes you’ve been gifted become known to the world.
When you choose to not share your story, others with the same vision and passion will not know you are out there. Brand storytelling comes with accepting the mantle of leadership. Once you share your story, people with the same interest, passion or purpose will find you. Humans are tribal, someone has to accept the responsibility to lead. When you decide to share your story you must also ask yourself, who will lead? Yes, finding and sharing what you believe, is what makes your brand story. Brand storytelling does require a lot of you. Once you begin the process, whenever your desire to lead just ask yourself, If not me, then who will lead?
Will you accept the responsibility, or will you await someone else in the crowd to step up to lead?
What follows is Oh me, Oh Life in its entirety. If you are still on the fence wondering should I do the work to find, then share my story, when you savor Whitman’s words perhaps they will inspire you. Remember, the choice is yours, when we keep our story bound up, inside, it does not serve anyone.
Oh me, Oh life
Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities filled with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects, mean, of the struggle ever renewed,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds, I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.
So, what’s next? When you commit to share your story and accept the responsibility to lead, we are here to coach and guide you, on your journey.
Creating your signature story requires you to produce an intriguing, authentic, narrative. Ideally you create a signature story for yourself and your business. Everyone working in customer facing roles should have a signature story to share.
A signature story is NOT a compilation of dry facts or product features, functions or description of roles and responsibilities. The signature story explains why you love the work you do while explaining how you to do it. The signature story enhances the perception of the company you represent.
The short video attached was produced for LifeBouy. The company was headquartered in England when it launched in 1895. Lifebouy became the most popular hand soap in the United States in 1923. Life Bouy is no longer produced in the United States. All production is now done in Cyprus. Lifebouy’s major markets are now the emerging markets of South America and Asia.
The narrative shared in the video illustrates how village folkways are integral to all village life. What’s compelling about this signature story is how it makes us feel empathy for the families and the village children. Leave a comment below and let us know how you felt while watching the video.
We all have an insightful, thoughtful and compelling message to share about our vision, mission, brand or campaign for fixing somethig greater than ourselves.
Now, relax, and watch this video for a few moments, then reflect on how you will gather the ideas that become your signature story. When you need a helping hand we are here to show you how to harness the power of your story to reach and engage the people in the markets you serve.
Kudos to LifeBouy who may no longer be all the rage in the United States yet, they continue to create products and processes to help people of emerging societies accomplish more.