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Why you should focus on feelings in B2B storytelling

Stories that make readers feel something are more likely to be remembered.

So check your corporate storytelling for basic human emotions.

Noted psychologist Robert Plutchik said there are eight primary emotions along with secondary and tertiary emotions.

The eight primary emotions are:

  • Joy
  • Trust
  • Fear
  • Surprise
  • Sadness
  • Disgust
  • Anger
  • Anticipation

Let’s look at an example.

In a corporate storytelling piece about a company planning a major move to a new location, it was important to capture how Chris, the main character, felt about the move — fearful, worried and anxious — because readers that might be in his shoes were likely feeling the same way:

Chris said, “It’s easy to tell yourself, ‘I can figure out how to do this on my own.’ But I fought that demon and listened to the advice of people who’d been through this many times before.”


In spite of all the planning, Chris said, it was stressful to think about the upcoming move. What if the movers show up and ask a million questions about what goes where? What if the phones don’t work? What if we lose business over this?


If you’re writing a B2B story now, do a quick check: 

  1. What basic human emotions are apparent in your story?
  2. How do you want readers to feel?
  3. What details have you included to make sure these emotions are clearly conveyed?


Want to learn more about corporate storytelling?

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