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How Story Theory Can 
Help Increase Brand Affinity
Storytelling has become marekting’s new hammer. 
Everthing is starting to look like a nail.
StoryTelling 
Teach 
Influence 
Persuade 
Inspire 
Entertain 
= Outcomes
StoryTelling 
Teach 
Influence 
Persuade 
Inspire 
Entertain 
= Outcomes 
Story Theory Cause-Effect But what about the 
In...
Theory Sources: 
Doug 
Lipman 
Annette 
Simmons 
Robert 
McKee 
Kendal 
Haven
The Application 
of Story Theory 
To Branding 
Pulling it all together:
Evolutionary Biology : 150,000 years of Storytelling 
Seriously! 
You should have 
seen the mammoth 
that got away!!!
Theory: 
Our brains have been 
hard-wired by evolution to 
make sense of the world 
in story terms.
Read the following: 
Joe: Hey, why don’t we get out of this place. 
Mary: Sure. What do you have in mind? 
Then, answer th...
Where are Joe and Mary? 
What’s their relationship? 
Where do you think they will go?
Our brains want to complete stories, 
even when there’s incomplete information.
Processors 
Conscious 
Mind 
Processors 
Our Story Filters 
Sensory 
Inputs 
First 
Filter 
Second 
Filter
Processors 
Sensory 
Inputs 
Processors 
Mirror 
Neurons 
Neural Net 
“Story Filter 
Accept it 
Complete it 
Reframe it 
R...
An ambulance pulled up to the emergency room 
entrance. 
The crew wheeled in a stretcher. 
The patient was a teenager who ...
The physician is his mother.
The Implication for Marketing: 
It’s difficult, if not impossible 
to erase prior knowledge
No matter how hard you try, it is extremely difficult 
for people to “Unthink” who you are.
Stories Are “Relational” 
Audience Storyteller 
Story 
Doug Lipman- Story Dynamics
The Story - Audience Relationship 
Audience Storyteller 
Story
Processors 
Mirror 
Neurons 
The Identification 
Neural Net 
“Story Filter 
Can I see 
myself 
in the story? 
(Identificat...
Identification 
Sympathy Empathy 
Situational Fit Emotional Fit 
I Can See Myself In A 
Similar Situation 
I Can Identify ...
Empathy Drivers 
Cause Outcome 
I hold the same belief/ 
value 
I experience the same 
feeling
Stories Are “Relational” 
Audience Storyteller 
Story
How well do audiences relate to the storyteller? 
Content 
Made Sense 
Identification/Empathy 
Delivery 
Perceived Motive ...
Motive 
Share Sell Manipulate 
Implain Explain Control
Implaning- We Like to Come To Our Own 
Conclusions 
2+2= 
Andrew Stanton 
Writer of Toy Story, Wall-E, & Finding Nemo
The Iceberg Principle 
There is seven-eights of it 
under water for every part that 
shows. 
Anything you know you can 
el...
Hemingway’s 6-Word Story 
For Sale: Baby Shoes Never Worn.
We don’t like to be told what to think. 
We’d rather be told what to think about.
Story reveals meaning without committing the 
error of defining it 
Hannah Ahrent, 
Political Theorist
What’s A Story?
Towards a Definition of Story: 
Tale, novel, play, motion picture, 
comic serial, radio play, television show 
video game,...
Definition 
A recounting of a sequence of events 
A narration of an incident or a 
series of events
Today I got out of bed, brushed my teeth, 
fed the cat, ate breakfast and then drove to my office. 
(don’t wait for the mo...
A Narrative about a 
Character 
Motivated To Do 
Something 
Story
This morning John swam 50 laps of the pool 
Then he rested up for 3 minutes 
And swam 50 more. 
He did the same thing in t...
A Narrative about a 
Character 
Motivated To 
Do Something 
To 
Accomplish 
Some Goal 
Story
This morning John swam 50 laps of the pool 
Then he rested up for 3 minutes 
And swam 50 more. 
He did the same thing in t...
This morning John swam 50 laps of the pool 
Then he rested up for 3 minutes 
And swam 50 more. 
He did the same thing in t...
A Narrative about a 
Character 
Motivated To Do 
Somehthing 
To 
Accomplish 
Some Goal 
Story 
Who Must 
Overcome 
Some Ob...
Using The Same Structure 
A Narrative about a 
Character 
Doing Something 
Motivated To 
Accomplish Some 
Goal 
For A Bran...
A Narrative about a 
Motivated To 
Accomplish Some 
Goal 
Goal ? 
Using The Same Structure 
For A Brand Story
Using The Same Structure 
A Narrative about a 
Purchase Behavior? 
Goal ? 
For A Brand Story
Affinity 
Goal 
Using The Same Structure 
For A Brand Story 
Affinity Purchase Repeat WOM Raving Fans
A Narrative about a 
Affinity 
Goal 
Character 
Motivated To Do 
Something 
Brand 
Using The Same Structure 
For A Brand S...
A Narrative about a 
Affinity 
Goal 
Make great 
products. 
Provide great 
service. 
Brand 
Using The Same Structure 
For ...
“Peopl e don’t buy what we do. 
They buy why we do it.” I 
Simon Sinek 
Start With Why 
(Actually, they buy what we do AND...
The extent to which people can identify with your motive 
is the extent to which you will achieve brand affinity. 
Motive ...
Using The Same Structure 
A Narrative about a 
Affinity 
Share An 
Important, 
Authentic 
Belief/Value 
For A Brand Story ...
Look where you’ve been 
Objects in Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are
Archetypal Analysis 
Personify Your Brand
Free Guidebook on 
How To Use Archetypal Analysis 
www.bit.ly/Brandcharacters
The Rebel: Dollar Shaver Club
Using The Same Structure 
A Narrative about a 
Share An 
Important, 
Authentic 
Belief/Value 
For A Brand Story 
? Affinit...
Four Obstacle Levels 
For People Like Me 
Trust 
Comprehension 
Awareness 
IV 
III 
II 
I
Now What? 
•Don’t worry so much about telling your story. 
Worry about what your story is. 
•Use Story Strucutre to Define...
Then, 
LIVE YOUR STORY!
www.eswstorylab.com
How to Use Story Theory to Create Brand Affinity
How to Use Story Theory to Create Brand Affinity
How to Use Story Theory to Create Brand Affinity
How to Use Story Theory to Create Brand Affinity
How to Use Story Theory to Create Brand Affinity
How to Use Story Theory to Create Brand Affinity
How to Use Story Theory to Create Brand Affinity
How to Use Story Theory to Create Brand Affinity
How to Use Story Theory to Create Brand Affinity
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How to Use Story Theory to Create Brand Affinity

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Presentation given to University of Chicago Alums re: Story Theory and its Application To Marketing

Published in: Business

How to Use Story Theory to Create Brand Affinity

  1. 1. How Story Theory Can Help Increase Brand Affinity
  2. 2. Storytelling has become marekting’s new hammer. Everthing is starting to look like a nail.
  3. 3. StoryTelling Teach Influence Persuade Inspire Entertain = Outcomes
  4. 4. StoryTelling Teach Influence Persuade Inspire Entertain = Outcomes Story Theory Cause-Effect But what about the In-Go?
  5. 5. Theory Sources: Doug Lipman Annette Simmons Robert McKee Kendal Haven
  6. 6. The Application of Story Theory To Branding Pulling it all together:
  7. 7. Evolutionary Biology : 150,000 years of Storytelling Seriously! You should have seen the mammoth that got away!!!
  8. 8. Theory: Our brains have been hard-wired by evolution to make sense of the world in story terms.
  9. 9. Read the following: Joe: Hey, why don’t we get out of this place. Mary: Sure. What do you have in mind? Then, answer the following
  10. 10. Where are Joe and Mary? What’s their relationship? Where do you think they will go?
  11. 11. Our brains want to complete stories, even when there’s incomplete information.
  12. 12. Processors Conscious Mind Processors Our Story Filters Sensory Inputs First Filter Second Filter
  13. 13. Processors Sensory Inputs Processors Mirror Neurons Neural Net “Story Filter Accept it Complete it Reframe it Reject it Ignore it Make Sense From Prior Knowlege The“Make Sense” Filter
  14. 14. An ambulance pulled up to the emergency room entrance. The crew wheeled in a stretcher. The patient was a teenager who had been in a bad car accident. The ER physician gave the boy a quick once over and said, ”He needs to get into surgery, immediately. But I can’t operate on him, he’s my son!" The physician, who was not the boy's father, was telling the truth. Who was the physician?
  15. 15. The physician is his mother.
  16. 16. The Implication for Marketing: It’s difficult, if not impossible to erase prior knowledge
  17. 17. No matter how hard you try, it is extremely difficult for people to “Unthink” who you are.
  18. 18. Stories Are “Relational” Audience Storyteller Story Doug Lipman- Story Dynamics
  19. 19. The Story - Audience Relationship Audience Storyteller Story
  20. 20. Processors Mirror Neurons The Identification Neural Net “Story Filter Can I see myself in the story? (Identification) Fliter Sensory Inputs
  21. 21. Identification Sympathy Empathy Situational Fit Emotional Fit I Can See Myself In A Similar Situation I Can Identify With The Feelings Of The Actor
  22. 22. Empathy Drivers Cause Outcome I hold the same belief/ value I experience the same feeling
  23. 23. Stories Are “Relational” Audience Storyteller Story
  24. 24. How well do audiences relate to the storyteller? Content Made Sense Identification/Empathy Delivery Perceived Motive of the Storyteller How the story is told
  25. 25. Motive Share Sell Manipulate Implain Explain Control
  26. 26. Implaning- We Like to Come To Our Own Conclusions 2+2= Andrew Stanton Writer of Toy Story, Wall-E, & Finding Nemo
  27. 27. The Iceberg Principle There is seven-eights of it under water for every part that shows. Anything you know you can eliminate only strengthens your iceberg. It is the part that doesn’t show. Ernest Hemingway
  28. 28. Hemingway’s 6-Word Story For Sale: Baby Shoes Never Worn.
  29. 29. We don’t like to be told what to think. We’d rather be told what to think about.
  30. 30. Story reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it Hannah Ahrent, Political Theorist
  31. 31. What’s A Story?
  32. 32. Towards a Definition of Story: Tale, novel, play, motion picture, comic serial, radio play, television show video game, interactive story, photograph, music
  33. 33. Definition A recounting of a sequence of events A narration of an incident or a series of events
  34. 34. Today I got out of bed, brushed my teeth, fed the cat, ate breakfast and then drove to my office. (don’t wait for the movie!)
  35. 35. A Narrative about a Character Motivated To Do Something Story
  36. 36. This morning John swam 50 laps of the pool Then he rested up for 3 minutes And swam 50 more. He did the same thing in the afternoon.
  37. 37. A Narrative about a Character Motivated To Do Something To Accomplish Some Goal Story
  38. 38. This morning John swam 50 laps of the pool Then he rested up for 3 minutes And swam 50 more. He did the same thing in the afternoon. John is training for the Olympics.
  39. 39. This morning John swam 50 laps of the pool Then he rested up for 3 minutes And swam 50 more. He did the same thing in the afternoon. John is training for the Olympics. John lost his legs while fighting in Afghanistan
  40. 40. A Narrative about a Character Motivated To Do Somehthing To Accomplish Some Goal Story Who Must Overcome Some Obstacle
  41. 41. Using The Same Structure A Narrative about a Character Doing Something Motivated To Accomplish Some Goal For A Brand Story While Trying To Overcome Some Obstacle Brand Obstacle Goal
  42. 42. A Narrative about a Motivated To Accomplish Some Goal Goal ? Using The Same Structure For A Brand Story
  43. 43. Using The Same Structure A Narrative about a Purchase Behavior? Goal ? For A Brand Story
  44. 44. Affinity Goal Using The Same Structure For A Brand Story Affinity Purchase Repeat WOM Raving Fans
  45. 45. A Narrative about a Affinity Goal Character Motivated To Do Something Brand Using The Same Structure For A Brand Story
  46. 46. A Narrative about a Affinity Goal Make great products. Provide great service. Brand Using The Same Structure For A Brand Story
  47. 47. “Peopl e don’t buy what we do. They buy why we do it.” I Simon Sinek Start With Why (Actually, they buy what we do AND why we do it)
  48. 48. The extent to which people can identify with your motive is the extent to which you will achieve brand affinity. Motive Share Sell Manipulate Implain Explain Control
  49. 49. Using The Same Structure A Narrative about a Affinity Share An Important, Authentic Belief/Value For A Brand Story Brand Goal
  50. 50. Look where you’ve been Objects in Mirror May Appear Closer Than They Are
  51. 51. Archetypal Analysis Personify Your Brand
  52. 52. Free Guidebook on How To Use Archetypal Analysis www.bit.ly/Brandcharacters
  53. 53. The Rebel: Dollar Shaver Club
  54. 54. Using The Same Structure A Narrative about a Share An Important, Authentic Belief/Value For A Brand Story ? Affinity Brand Obstacle Goal
  55. 55. Four Obstacle Levels For People Like Me Trust Comprehension Awareness IV III II I
  56. 56. Now What? •Don’t worry so much about telling your story. Worry about what your story is. •Use Story Strucutre to Define Your Story •Do Less Explaning and More Implaning •To achieve brand affinity, do less selling and more sharing
  57. 57. Then, LIVE YOUR STORY!
  58. 58. www.eswstorylab.com

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