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Storytelling as a Marketing Tool

Written By Hannah Grady


Strategic Storytelling

Imagine you are a 10 year-old girl living in the 60s, swinging your legs languidly on a porch swing and flipping through a magazine looking for something interesting. You come across a picture of a magnificent castle-like house, and in front, there is a girl who looks like you conversing with a queen. The queen says “there’s nothing to do in the mountains,” and the young girl replies, “Of course there is! Biltmore is always exciting and it’s a castle.”

You get excited—what if you could go to this castle and explore it too?

In the 1960s, Biltmore launched its Alice and the Mountain Queen ad campaign in local newspapers. Featuring pictures of Biltmore House and accompanied by dialogue, this storytelling strategy was revolutionary, and Biltmore capitalized on it to improve visitation during difficult years.

What makes storytelling such a powerful marketing tool? Research shows us that stories transcend time; they evoke emotion, and they involve more than one sense. When we listen to a story, we are transported to other times in our lives—the smell of our grandmother’s fresh banana bread, the cool touch of a misty breeze after a spring rain, or the taste of fine wine on a summer veranda. Stories have a lasting impact on our memory and when used in marketing, have the power to evoke connections between a product or service and the memories, emotions, and feelings of the viewer.

Powerful stories often come from the rich history that is embedded within every organization, or they can be created from its experiences and culture. To learn how you can discover these stories within your company and use them to your advantage, join us for our upcoming workshop, Storytelling as a Business Strategy.