How to Make Your Customers’ Brains Light Up, According to Science

Contently cofounder Shane Snow has been called a lot of things in the press: “maverick,” “wunderkind,” “insanely addicting.” According to these people, he’s apparently the love child of John McCain, Mark Zuckerberg, and a bag of Doritos.

But I’ll let you in on a secret: He’s actually just a huge geek. That’s the only way to describe someone who chooses to get strapped to a crazy brain machine and watch a brand video from HP.

The brain machine—named the InBand—measures the downstream effects of the neurochemical oxytocin. It was invented by Dr. Paul Zak, who’s become the empathy king in the science community. (Empathy King would make a great DJ name by the way. So would Dr. Zak.)

In our upcoming book The Storytelling Edge, Shane and I write a lot about Dr. Zak’s research, which has revealed that oxytocin is the key to empathy inside the human brain. It’s the key to making us feel connected—to people, to causes, and even to brands. Case in point: When Shane watched HP’s heartwarming video about a father and daughter’s rollercoaster relationship, his empathy levels spiked dramatically.

The effects great stories have on our brains are incredible. As we explore in our new book trailer, our neural activity increases fivefold when we hear a strong narrative. Great stories do so much more than just entertain us. They’re key for anyone who wants to make people think, care, and remember.

Watch the book trailer below to learn more:

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