Remember the Gold Blend coffee adverts or the recent BT flat share adverts. Stories work.
Professor Richard Boyatzis of Case Western Reserve University has done fMRI studies that show the rational part of the brain cannot work at the same time as the emotional and decision making part of the brain. And so if you tell a story you are more likely to get a decision than if you just present facts, features or benefits.
Jennifer Aaker studies happiness, and how stories can affect our happiness; she believes that stories are more meaningful — more memorable, more impactful, and more personal–than statistics alone. And her work also shows the same effects on decision making, involvement and engagement.
And when used with statistical data, stories are an incredible persuasive tool that can help us decide what to believe in a world where we are bombarded with information.