The power of stories at Christmas and beyond
The tapestry of Christmas is spun through with epic yarns. From tales of shepherds, kings and a saviour’s birth through to the modern-day magic of Santa and his flying reindeer, stories are everywhere at Christmas.
And it’s not hard to see why. We all love a good story. Think back to the tales of your childhood. Think how they transported you, broke through the veil of reality and sparked your imagination into Technicolor-life. Stories matter. They are, more than anything else, what sets us apart and makes us uniquely human.
Communication first began with the telling of stories. Modern communication was born from the tradition where messages, testimony and history were verbally transmitted in speech or song across generations. Before we could write, this is how we communicated.
Storytellers were revered. They had to hold an audience by enchanting them, educating them and engaging them. The very things we strive to achieve now when we communicate with our own audiences or our customers.
Storytelling comes into its own at Christmas time – in adverts, email campaigns, social media, and video. And typically, this kind of storytelling tries to pack an emotional punch because, to paraphrase Maya Angelou, people won’t remember the specifics of what you said, but they’ll remember how you made them feel.
And it works. As customers, we’re drawn towards buying from the brands who strike an emotional chord within us. The trick is to do this all year around and not just at Christmas time. By telling a better story, you’ll have happier, more loyal customers and a rock-solid foundation for launching the growth of your business.
While you’re enjoying your Christmas break, think about your story and how you can tell it. A great place to start is by trying to answer these questions:
- How can you be a force for good in the world?
- How can you touch people’s hearts and engage their minds?
- Do you act as a guide for your customers on their journey? And if you don’t, how can you do it?
- How can you better understand your customers, their wants and their needs?
Every business has a story to tell. Don’t settle for ordinary and make sure yours is one that inspires, entertains, engages, and captures that little bit of magic (the kind we always see at Christmas) all the time.
The very best stories stay with us. Sometimes they hit us like a sledgehammer and other times they creep up on us, sneaking under our skin when we least expect them to. But they stay with us because of the way they make us feel.
Your challenge is to find the heart underneath your communications, underneath your stories. Tap into the feeling and the emotion. Tell your story in a way that communicates this feeling to your customers because everyone, whatever their age or their demographic, loves a good story.
Christmas is a time for stories. So go out and tell yours, not just in the next month when you celebrate with friends and family, but always.
The more stories the world holds, the richer we all become.