Who doesn’t love a good story? Whether it’s a book you can’t put down or a film you’ll watch repeatedly, you’re hooked. There’s something about it that hits you squarely in the chest.

That something is good storytelling. It evokes emotion, imparts knowledge and stirs debate – powerful skills in PR and marketing.

Capturing these skills in your marketing and communications strategy will make your brand unforgettable. This is how you can stand out in a river of repetition.

Don’t say you understand; show you understand

Empathy – the skill we have because we’re human, right? Well, yes, and no.

Here’s a bare-bones definition of ‘empathy’: the ability to understand how someone feels because you can imagine what it’s like to be them or to be in their situation. So, let’s assume that everyone is capable of this.

Empathy in PR and marketing, however, is a different ball game.

When your customers are looking to you for solutions, your ability to empathise needs to be less of a passive human trait and more of an active marketing strategy.

Through empathy, you’ll forge loyalty and trust in the wariest of customers. It’s your key to making a genuine, emotional connection with your clients. And that’s your winning ticket in business.

But not everyone succeeds here.

Use storytelling to empathise

Seven seconds. That’s how long it takes to form a first impression. That’s all a customer needs to develop that gut feeling about whether or not to trust you.

So, this is no time to talk about your company’s history or show off your new premises. In those seven seconds, it’s not about you; it’s all about the customer. Win them over now and you’ll have bought yourself more time.

The question is, how?

Storytelling. Companies that master brand storytelling are the ones that you’re going to see around for a long time. It transforms a brand into a legacy.

Storytelling advances that initial hook from a good first impression into a series of compelling narratives that drive deeper engagement with your audience.

Think about it: stories unite people because they manage to get the storyteller and listener to share emotion.

Christmas ads are perfect examples. From Iceland’s #NoPalmOilChristmas to John Lewis’ Long Wait, companies use stories to stir emotion and elevate their brand’s meaning. They’re subliminally persuading customers to incorporate their brand into their daily lives.

When tapping into an emotional connection, you’re placing your customers at the centre of your story. This is a powerful strategic tool because it gets them to focus on you when, in reality, they’re being pulled in many different directions.

The key takeaway: be honest

Brand storytelling will transform you from a faceless entity into a company that audiences can trust and engage with in a meaningful way.

But this is no time to ‘fake it till you make it’. Be authentic.

Fostering honest empathy through storytelling gives your clients a gateway to your brand. It’s your invitation for them to enter. But they’ll only do so if they trust you.

At WriteMeAnything, we’re professional storytellers. Get in touch to understand how you can incorporate empathy and storytelling into your PR, marketing and brand communications.