Storytelling to enhance retail branding is a strategy many retailers in Australia are not making the most of.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show Australians spend an average of 179 minutes watching television and 76 minutes reading everyday. This indicates there is a significant appetite to consume stories in our culture.

Retailers have a unique opportunity to take advantage of this craving for drama, fiction and stories.

Giving your product a history or biography can increase the perceived value, which means the customer is willing to pay more simply because they have been told a story.

This has been proven time and again by vintage apparel retailer The J. Peterman Company. This online catalogue offers fictional stories for each item of clothing they sell.

An example of this is a simple baseball cap the company called Hemingway’s Cap. The story explains Hemingway bought his cap for less than five dollars in a gas station yet the cap for sale on the site is offered for $59.

That’s a $54 markup for the story, a price many J. Peterman customers are willing to pay.

With results like this, its worth thinking about incorporating storytelling into your retail strategy.

Global research organisation Latitude recently released a study into the future of storytelling. The report highlighted four trends which will continue to shape retail storytelling in the digital age.

Immersion

Allowing consumers to delve deeper into a more in depth story through supplementary context and sensory experiences.

This means retailers in Australia can benefit from offering parts of their brand’s story over multiple platforms.

Interactivity

Retailers are recommended to allow customers to become part of the story and possibly influence the narrative.

Integration

Seamless connection over multiple platforms needs to go beyond offering identical content on different devices. Reward the customers who connect over multiple platforms by presenting unique ideas and content.

Impact

Will the story inspire the consumer to take action? The most important aspect of retail storytelling is the call to action, which should encourage the customer to purchase a product, sign up to a newsletter or connect to your business in some form.