As humans, we love stories. Our earliest, most treasured memories are often of our parents reading one to us before we went to sleep. We swap them over drinks at the local pub or around the water cooler. We fill our free time with them in the form of Hollywood movies, Broadway plays, novels, magazine articles, TV shows and video games.
Yet when it comes to the work life of many consumer insights professionals, stories are often absent, distrusted or misapplied. Preferring a “just the facts” approach to deliver our insights, we load our findings in a blizzard of data, graphs and charts. The all-too-predictable result is that we’re too often greeted with a bored, disengaged audience that fails to act in the desired way.
A better way is required if consumer insights is going to deliver meaningful impact in the years ahead. The solution is the simple, time-tested one of storytelling. As the neuroscientist David Eagleman wrote in a review of The Storytelling Animal, “It’s not easy to infect the brain of another person with an idea; it can be accomplished only by hitting the small exposed hole in the system. For the brain, that hole is story-shaped.”
But how do you create a message that fills this “story-shaped” hole? And what elements of stories are critical to employ if you’re going to be a successful consumer insights communicator?
We set out to answer these questions in our May 2014 LIVE Spotlight, “Storytelling for Consumer Insights.” You can watch the webinar here: let us know what you think.
Image designed by Sean Kernick.