Find the Stories That Connect Customers
“Data can be turned into a story. When you present numbers without a story, people just glaze over.”— Alice Fairfax
As is customary on the show, Alice Fairfax returns to ask three unscripted questions. Considering she is the author of “Tell Your Story: Tools to Take You from a Tweet to a TED Talk,” it makes sense that her questions would dive deeper into of storytelling. Much of our conversation revolves around the importance of learned and earned stories. Both play a significant role in connecting with audiences on a universal and specific level.
Alice makes an interesting connection between inviting an audience into a story and the significance of telling a good story. It is important to recognize the distinction between learned stories, which focus on information provided by companies, and earned stories, which are born out of personal experiences consumers have with a brand. When I think about my experience as a park ranger I feel that learned stories are like the informative signs, brochures, and videos encountered at parks. On the other hand, earned stories, exemplified by experiences at Disney parks, are the stories people go home and tell because they personally interacted with the brand. For a story to be remarkable, it needs to be both universal and specific. If a learned story lacks these vital elements, people are unlikely to relate to it or remember it, and therefore, they won’t share it.
For businesses to truly connect with their customers they need to know the importance of understanding both learned and earned stories. It is not to say it’s easy. There are challenges faced by businesses like drug stores, where earned stories may be harder to create. In those situations it is best to focus on delivering outstanding learned stories that are both universal and specific.
Ultimately, Alice’s story formula, which focuses on making stories relatable and engaging, perfectly complements the concept of learned and earned stories. There is no denying the power of storytelling and how businesses can effectively connect with their audience through learned and earned stories. By offering memorable and remarkable experiences, brands can foster deep connections and inspire customers to share their stories, creating a lasting impact. Storytelling plays a fundamental role in engaging audiences and creating meaningful connections.
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