At the core of every healthy brand is a really good story. The world’s greatest brands know how to deliver their stories in an ongoing and memorable manner. The job of brand storytelling as a part of a strategic content program is a challenging one requiring heaps of skill – and a dollop of science.
Below are three premises of the science of memory creation and retention that we can use to make our brand stories stick.
1. Who doesn’t love a good story?
Effective narrative storytelling can make content more memorable within a noisy marketplace. Emotional content is more memorable. Images, alone or in combination with words, increase the mind’s ability to retain content. Narrative, sequential storytelling improves recall of finer details and results in stronger memory formation.
2. Credible leads to indelible.
The ability to build and maintain credibility with our audience is critical to increasing their willingness to consume content and share it on our behalf. Have you ever cited a piece of fascinating or insightful information that you knew to be fact and yet, you were unable to identify where you read it? Clinical psychologists call this phenomenon source amnesia and it’s a normal part of how we store and process information. Once we deem a piece of information to be factual/reliable, our brain stores it in a place where the source of the information itself becomes irrelevant.
3. Shorter is sweeter.
Online audiences, especially those who access information largely from mobile devices, consume and process information differently than they do in offline channels. Therefore, we need to create content with those behaviors in mind. Good writing for online channels must appease both key audiences: search engines and reading audiences.
Sara Meaney is partner and vice president of public relations and social media of Milwaukee-based Hanson Dodge Creative