or Why You Really Need to Develop Product Stories for Your Customers Now
Connecting with your customers through photographs requires a lot more effort than just taking random, unplanned or semi planned photos of your products.
You’ll get better results when you take the time to get to know your customer & how they interact with your products. Because you will then be able to create visual stories (photos) around your products that your customer can relate to, connect with and understand.
But as anyone who’s ever thought about building visual stories (or taking lifestyle photos) around their products (product stories) can tell you, you need to know WHY this is important to your business before you start.
As a gentle reminder…
…here are 5 ways product stories help make stronger and lasting connections with your customers.
1. Stories tap into people’s feelings and emotions
People understand the world around them by the thoughts and feelings they have in relation to it. So it makes sense to do as much as you can to create an emotional connection with your customers:
- to keep them coming back and
- to make an impression on potential customers.
And stories do that. They create an emotional response in people.
If you really understand your customers in relation to your products, you will be able to create amazing product stories that create a powerful emotional response in your customers.
“People buy for deep, un-logical, emotional reasons. The more powerful your story’s emotion is, the more likely your prospects and customers are to do something.” Rob Wormley
Don’t just take photos; tell stories that draw your customers in.
2. Stories are easier to remember than facts
Have you ever tried memorising a whole lot of facts about a new subject matter? It takes a lot of effort.
But when you approach remembering these facts in a different way, creating a story around the facts, it’s so much easier to remember. This works every time for me.
Creating a story around dry facts somehow makes those facts easier to remember. Why does this work? Maybe because our brains just love a good story.
Either way, if you make and sell products for a living, telling a good story around your products will help old, new and potential customers remember your products.
“The emotional reaction to a story causes a release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that activates neural pathways, making a story easier to remember and recall with greater accuracy.” JP Laqueur
Want your customers to remember your products? Start telling them product stories.
3. People can imagine themselves in a story
Ever watched a movie, a TV series or read a book that made your cry?
You know, not just slightly blurry vision, but tears streaming down your face…hmmm I can, many times! At the end of Titanic I was a mess. I can’t watch films with animals as the main characters…just in case they get hurt or die, ‘cause I howl.
Oh and I can’t watch horror films, cause I get too scared…and then I remember them when I’m home alone…eeek!
The point? The fact that somehow when we watch/read good stories we somehow transport ourselves into the story.
And the same goes for photographs. We get drawn into the story of the photo, which is why they’ve been used for so long in advertising.
Don’t forget, artists have been painting scenes for hundreds of years; maybe a picture really is worth a thousand words.
So, for those of you who are makers of products, it’s great news, because, by telling a great story in a photo, you have the potential of really connecting with your customers in an incredibly powerful way.
“The reason that stories work so well on us is that we are susceptible to getting “swept up” in both their message and in the manner of their telling. Quite literally, stories are able to transport our mind to another place, and in this place we may embrace things we’d likely scoff at in the “harsh, real world”. Gregory Ciotti
Want your customers to imagine your products in their lives? Start telling them amazing product stories.
4. Stories help us relate
The stories that I can relate to most are the stories that have similarities to my life and the way I understand and live in the world.
And it’s probably the same for you?
We connect most with things or stories that are familiar to us…and sometimes even to things that we greatly desire, but aren’t in our lives yet. Think about it…this is what advertising has always been based on…the things we recognise…and the things we desire.
And it’s exactly the same for your customers. They will relate to stories that feel authentic to them and their experience of the world and/or your product. And in social media, traditional advertising or basic product shots don’t work…but story telling does.
As Stephanie Diamond says in her book Visual Marketing Revolution, The: 26 Rules to Help Social Media Marketers Connect the Dots:
“Stories that customers tell are, of course, the backbone of social media…You want to make sure that you display and retell their stories because they are the most authentic.”
For you to really reach, to connect with and build a loyalty with your customers and followers…you’ve got to show them you understand them…and their lives. If you do this, if you tell them the stories they connect with, then they’ll connect with your products and your business too.
“Engaging with who they are apart from a hand with a wallet will build customer loyalty”. Debra Russell, Artist's EDGE
We all want someone to be interested in us, get interested in your customers and they’ll get interested in you…win win!
5. Stories Sell
Let’s face it. The reason we want to engage with customers more is because we want to sell to them.
But you try to do the hard sell now, to an educated marketplace, and you will probably get a disappointing result. Especially online and social media.
However, a good story can change that – a good product story can take your product straight into your potential customers imagination and be the start of a possible long-term relationship.
“A good story will cultivate positive interactions with potential customers, leading to increased conversion and a stronger sense of loyalty, the backbone of long-term customer relationships”. Fastspring Staff
So, make the commitment to your customers. Begin telling them product stories that relate to them, that connect to their lives, and that are authentic. Show them that you are interested in them, not just their ‘hand with the wallet’.
Tell them a story about how their lives could be.
Until next time...