How storytelling increased the value of a plastic banana by 30,300%

Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn ran an experiment to see if giving a narrative to an object can increase its subjective value. Of those objects, one was a plastic banana that cost them 25 cents. They asked talented writers to create a short story about the objects and offered it for sale on eBay, using the story in the description. The result? The plastic banana, which they bought for 25 cents, sold for $76. That’s a staggering markup of 30,300%. 

Emotion overrides logic and good stories are one of the most effective ways to tap into human behaviour. They can motivate people to buy or do things they might not otherwise do. When thinking of your brand, how can you tell your story to help give meaning and to go beyond the features and benefits that you provide?

Look for ways to make it personal, fun, educational or even challenging. Figure out the right tone of voice and create a narrative that will engage the emotions of your audience, providing a catalyst for building loyalty and value for your brand.

To be continued…