Concurrents: The power of stories

Jen Levisen

I’m 50/50 on remembering people’s names. I’m more likely to remember a random detail about someone or when we met — what they were wearing, where we were, how I was feeling, how someone made me feel, how they took their coffee — than I am someone’s name. And I no longer feel badly about it. My husband remembers hundreds of students’ names each school year — good for him. And as someone who has actively named two human beings, and one fur baby — it’s fine. Why, you ask? Because a) On any given day — how much do you have going on in your head?? And b) Let’s focus on the stuff that matters. Besides, we can always follow up to confirm information like names and titles later. 

Back to the stuff that matters. Details. Little details, bigger details. All add up to moments and moments create stories. Stories are our brains’ memory filing system. Stories are the threads that weave together the tapestry of the human experience. Stories have the unique ability to bridge the gap between seemingly unrelated concepts, products, companies, and people. In the world of marketing and business, storytelling is the key to creating authentic connections with your audience.  

When we hear a compelling story, our minds automatically file it away for future reference. Think about the last time you heard a touching tale or a memorable anecdote, or even the coffee order of someone you were excited to talk to. Chances are, it stuck with you far longer than a list of facts or statistics ever could. That’s because stories engage our emotions, making information more relatable and easier to remember. 

So, why should companies embrace storytelling? To answer that question, let’s dive into the essence of storytelling. 

Stories allow companies to humanize their brands. By sharing the journey, struggles, and motivations behind their work, companies become more than faceless entities. They become relatable, empathetic, and authentic. Companies that tell their stories clarify their purpose. It’s not just about what they do but why they do it. This sense of purpose can resonate with consumers who share similar values, creating a powerful bond. Emotional connections are what drive consumer loyalty. When a company’s story resonates with a customer’s personal experiences or aspirations, a deep connection forms. This connection can last a long time. 

In today’s saturated markets — my inbox, your LinkedIn feed, the conversation pre-PTO meeting, who else is obsessed with the Taylor and Travis situationship, differentiation is crucial. A well-told story sets a company apart from the competition. It gives people a reason to choose one brand over another. Stories are sticky. People remember stories long after they’ve forgotten facts and figures. When a company’s story is memorable, it becomes a part of their customers’ stories. 

Consider the success of companies like Apple, who didn’t just sell products but told a story of innovation and challenging the status quo. Or Patagonia, whose story of environmental activism and sustainability has won over a dedicated following. 

Now, let’s talk about the things that light you up. As a content creator, it’s essential to find your passion and share it through storytelling. When you talk about what truly excites you, it’s contagious. Your enthusiasm becomes the vehicle through which your audience connects with your ideas and perspectives. This authenticity is what keeps listeners coming back for more. When you lean into what lights you up, your storytelling becomes a conduit for inspiration and engagement. It allows you to share your unique insights, experiences, and wisdom with your audience. It’s through these personal stories that you forge a genuine connection, not only with your content but with your listeners as well. 

Stories are the connective tissue of the human experience. For companies, they are a powerful tool to explain not just what they do, but why they do it. By embracing storytelling, companies can build lasting emotional connections with their audience, differentiate themselves in the market, and clarify their purpose. And for content creators, sharing what lights them up through storytelling is what keeps their audience engaged and inspired. 

So, how do you take your coffee? 

Jen Levisen is a writer, editor, and content strategist passionate about connecting and storytelling and using both to highlight impact. She is the Director of Communications for mindful MATERIALS and is the host of the Impact Icons podcast, an Imagine a Place Production. Connect with Jen (digital high-fives abound!) LinkedIn >  Email >