Infobesity? What might that be then? Well urbandictionary.com defines it as ‘the relentless feast of online information, typically through search engines (i.e. Google, Wikipedia, etc.)’. This is a pretty positive definition for something which has so many negative connotations. At its best this newly coined phrase which hasn’t yet been included in the Oxford or Cambridge dictionaries (watch that space) is used to describe the endless information at our digitally nimble fingertips. At worst it describes the bombardment we experience on a daily basis with information coming at us at high speed from every conceivable angle.
It is certainly a digital phenomenon, but we would argue that this bombardment is not only in the digital space, we are exposed to thousands of messages on a daily basis via TV, radio, bus shelters, emails, telephone conversations, even the back of toilet doors! So how on earth can our marketing messages cut through the clutter and reach our target audiences intact?
Stories are the answer. We make time for stories, they have been part of our consciousness in many forms since we were children. In fact they have been part of humanities collective consciousness since Neanderthals drew pictures on cave walls. When someone says ‘let me tell you a story’ we suspend whatever we are doing, actively listen, and wait to hear the twists and turns, the scene setting, the dilemmas, and finally what happened in the end.
Big brands know the power of storytelling and they use it very effectively. The 2013 John Lewis Christmas TV ad – the story about the bear and the hare – touched many hearts both young and old. And therein lies the key. It’s the heart. Stories touch us emotionally and it is our emotions that we remember, not the endless stream of information passing our cerebral cortexes all of our waking moments. Find the emotion in your business and you will unleash the power of brand storytelling. Use it to engage customers, be remembered and be selected by them as their product or service choice.
At Hoot we run frequent seminars to introduce businesses to the power of brand storytelling and discuss how they can use stories in their own marketing. If you would like to hear more we’d love to hear from you – do get in touch
For those of you that missed the lovely story of The Bear and the Hare, have a look: