We humans are genetically coded to love stories. Our ancestors sat around the fire, telling stories of gods and devils, good and evil, animals on the hunt, and so on. Many of us have grown up listening to stories. These could be the countless Indian mythological / historical tales, Aesop’s fables, fairy tales, or any other example. Every culture on earth has a trove of stories. The simplest nursery rhymes are stories. Even Jack and Jill went up the hill, filled their pail of water and came back down.
Why do stories work so well?
- They make dry, uninteresting facts interesting.
- They make boring, moral lessons fun.
- By telling us about something, they reveal a deeper truth about something else.
- By describing someone’s experience, they lead us to introspect and sometimes, a realisation about ourselves occurs.
- Stories can inspire us, gladden our hearts, or challenge our belief systems.
Brand stories are a great way to get close to customers/users. When we were asked to write something about bread, we decided that bread should get the love it deserves. Few have given bread a chance to tell its own story.
Stories also spread faster than mundane statements like ‘our bread is amazing’. Customers of The Bakers’ Dozen read our story, and invariably left the store chuckling. They carried the story home with them on the bag, and also in their heads. Once in a while somebody would tell someone else, “Hey. I went to this new bakery. Yummy stuff. And they’re pretty funny too. Wait, you should read it. Let me show you the bag.” And so, the story spreads by the most powerful medium there is, good ol’ word of mouth.
Stories, whether in a novel, a paragraph, a tweet or a comic strip, capture our imagination.