Storytelling in retail: how to do it right at the point-of-sale

Everybody loves stories, right? When we were kids we fell asleep listening to them, when we were teens we fell in love with their help, and even as adults we still like a good story. Storytelling is not just for tucking children at night, it’s also for big brands that want to attract shoppers and turn them into loyal customers. 

When we listen to a story, we are automatically transported to another world, time, or space. Our brain reacts to the story and that makes it easier for us to remember the story and to get emotionally attached to it. Just like in a novel, when you end up having a crush on the main character. 

We also tend to pay attention to different facts or stats that are inserted in the story narrative. The science is here to back us up: Neuroscientists discovered that different parts of our brain light up when we are listening to a story.  This is why you, as a brand, need to know how to master the art of storytelling in retail. 

Why is storytelling important?

Storytelling is not just about sharing an interesting story, it’s also about engaging with your customers, trying to make them feel in a certain way, and, eventually, persuading them to make a purchase. We’ve said eventually because the most important thing about storytelling is that it connects customers with brands in an emotional way. 

As you know, emotions are the most important ingredients that lead to a purchase. We don’t do a single thing without emotions and what better way to trigger emotions than a story? 

For brands, it’s essential to first understand the triggers of emotions so they can create and tell a story that will persuade the customers. Once the customer is hooked, they will become loyal customers and that is how brand-name purchases are made. People select a certain brand because they heard about it and they have a certain emotion when they see their products.  

Storytelling in retail: How to implement it?

     1. Create the narrative 

As the saying goes: You are the narrator of your story. This means you have the liberty to create something unique, something that will make your customers cry, smile, or laugh. Making shoppers develop certain emotions is not easy, but it’s all about the narrative of the story. Think about what your brand or store wants to transmit to customers. How do you want to be perceived by shoppers?

    2. Brands are not protagonists

Stories have characters and brands can’t be the protagonists, they need to be the storyteller, the narrator. First, you will need to find the protagonists of your story. Are they your customers or employees? Think big, but create a protagonist that is both relatable and likable. Start from simple people and simple activities and build on that. 

    3. Be part of your customers’ experience 

You need to be the one that comes to the customer with the story. This means you need to be present where they are. For FMCG brands, the point of purchase is an ideal place to share the story. Customers are there, they came to shop so they are ready to listen to what you have to say. 

    4. Find the right solutions

It’s important to have the right tools and solutions to share your story. If you decide to integrate storytelling into your in-store marketing strategy, a robotic display like Tokinomo is the ideal solution for you. Best thing: it helps your products speak for themselves and share the story of your brand. With Tokinomo, you can master the art of storytelling right at the point of sale. 

    5. Keep the same storyline on all channels

Once you found the right narrative, don’t switch it on different channels. Make sure that you share the same story on social media, at the point of sale, on your website, and in other campaigns. 

Examples of storytelling in retail

Now that you know why storytelling in retail is so powerful and how you can implement it, let’s take a look at different brands that amazingly told their story. 

    1. Patagonia

Patagonia has used storytelling to the fullest. The brand focuses on sustainability and protecting the environment. Since they produce clothes that last a long time, people are still wearing them after years and years. We all have a story about a pair of sneakers, shorts, or a sweater we received from a special person. That’s why Patagonia decided to create a repair truck and to drive it all over the US to fix people’s clothes that they purchased from Patagonia. Clothes have sentimental value and Patagonia knows how to explore that. 


    2. P&G 

Everybody supports Olympic athletes, but who supports the ones that helped athletes get to where they are now? P&G calls itself the Supporter of moms. Their videos make anyone with a heart drop a tear or two. After all, who doesn’t get emotional when they think about what their mother did for them? 

With their products, P&G is offering real support for mothers all around the world. 


    3. Honest Tea

Just like Patagonia, Honest Tea focused on its core values. The brand wanted to show customers that all of its ingredients are natural, healthy, and organic. This is why they created the “Origins” Web series. The series showed consumers exactly how the ingredients are collected and used to produce the tea.  From the cane sugar grown in Paraguay to the black tea gardens of India, every video is meant to reaffirm the company’s “Honest” branding and connect customers to the people behind each bottle.

    4. Strongbow

The well-known cider maker is all about trying something new and exciting, just like their products. Even though it’s hard to achieve, they used storytelling right at the point of sale with the help of Tokinomo, a robotic POP display. 

“Get your friends together for a high-altitude holiday” is what they said. They kept their promise on every channel. On their website, once you registered, you were eligible to win a bike or a DSLR camera. They offered those prizes to make sure that you also had an amazing story to record. 


Storytelling is an amazing way to connect with customers and to reaffirm the core values of your brand. 

Ready to master the art of storytelling right at the point of sale? Drop us a line and see how Tokinomo can help. 

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