Four Reasons Why People Turn to Fiction (Marketers Pay Attention)


For many of us, reading a work of good fiction is more than just a way to pass the time. It's a window into other people and places, an emotional catharsis, and a framework upon which to build our understanding of the world around us. In this post, Rob Parnell of  Easy Way to Write explains fiction for those who don't understand its value. Fiction, like film, is simply another medium for stories, he says. People enjoy stories for four reasons:

  1. Entertainment
  2. Enlightenment
  3. Validation
  4. Hope and Salvation

In the ongoing discussion around branding, brands are frequently compared to stories. Is this comparison accurate? We believe it is. A brand that entertains, enlightens, validates, or offers hope to its customers is likely to grow in the right direction. People will turn to the brand in the same way that they turn to their favorite stories.

Do marketers need to read fiction? Probably not, but they do need to be in touch with the world of stories. Having an understanding of stories -- why people enjoy them and hold on to them -- will help you understand how to create content, messaging, and engagements that are effective. If you don't feel like losing yourself in One Hundred Years of Solitude, you can still benefit from movies, plays, standup comedians, and magazine articles, which are all great places to connect with the world of stories.

Do you have a story of your own? Share it in the comments or send us a tweet.

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Written by Chris Allison on January 15, 2010


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Chris Allison