PR and marketing, two essential components of business, are rooted in storytelling. As businesses become more and more focused on the customer, the importance of telling a brand story increases. Nike, a leader in athletic wear, tells a story of overcoming adversity with dedication and strength, Apple, the tech industry leader, tells a story of individuality through innovation and simple design. It’s no coincidence that industry’s leading brands know how to tell a great story.

So why did stories become so important?

Firstly, the nature of business is changing. No longer are we a society that values one way communication from brands to consumers. The communication style has changed to include voices of both brands and consumers. The growing popularity of social media and  customer service (among many other factors) all contribute to consumers and businesses being more connected. It is now essential for brands to communicate with their consumers

Next, so many ads exist that many are immediately labeled by viewers as clutter. In order to have compelling content, it is necessary to do more than bombard a viewer with a message, hence the appeal of stories. In this day of endless advertising, it is necessary to draw the customer to your brand because no amount of one-way advertising will do that. A compelling story is an effective way to draw in a consumer.

Lastly, today’s consumers are smarter. Consumers can see straight through a flimsy marketing campaign. They want to be prodded to think, even to feel, by a campaign. Consumers need marketing that challenges them and honors their savvy as a consumer. A story offers more thought-provoking content while also giving the consumer a more valid reason to remember a brand.

With these changes, it is important for consumers to be cognisant of their interests and what kind of marketing content appeals to them. Next time you see an ad that appeals to you, try to pinpoint what it is about the marketing strategy that you like. You’ll be surprised that you probably follow the same trends that many other modern consumers do, and this will prompt you to think about the importance of storytelling for your own business.