3 Human-to-Human Business Trends in 2022

Special thanks to Squash & Stretch Productions, experts in Storytelling for businesses and non-profits.

1. Mission Driven

People want to be part of something that's bigger than themselves, that their life has a purpose. This includes customers/clients, employees, and even investors. While this trend is not new, it has been amplified due to the pandemic separating people from each other. 
You're probably thinking, "But, I own a small business. I'm not going to save the world on my own!" That's fine. Your mission doesn't have to be a grandiose claim that you can solve the world's problems. Pick something that aligns with your business, your values, and resonates with your best clients. Then, focus your messaging on that. 
You want to be a mission with a business, not the other way around. Even if that mission has a local focus. A CPA whose mission is to improve the financial literacy of their clients and their children is going to attract way more families than just another CPA.

2. Client Experience

If you haven't read The Experience Economy yet, do it. Here are two links that summarize the premise of the book and offer ways to get a copy -- Goodreads, Amazon. I'll wait...
Okay, you should now know that the best way for your business to avoid the commoditization of your product or service is to focus on creating exceptional client experiences. People, again because of the pandemic, are craving experiences after being cooped up for so long. And, they're willing to pay more for them.
Experiences are transformational, and your clients are looking to transform their lives from one with their current problem to one where you've solved a problem for them. So, focusing your marketing messages on HOW you help people, not just WHAT you do, is key. 
Another key trick to explaining this in a compelling way is to make your clients the hero of your story. You are the guide. Most companies talk about themselves too much. Honestly, your customers don't care where you went to school, how many awards you've won, or how long you've been in business. They want to know if you share their values (Hint: Your Mission) and the results they'll get by hiring you.
So, focus on what your clients will experience, and how that leads to the results they want.

3. Storytelling

No matter if your business is B2B, B2C, or even B2G, all businesses are really H2H. Human to Human. And, humans tell stories. Don't believe me?
In the next 5 seconds, think of your favorite statistic.
In the next 5 seconds, think of your favorite story.
Most people can't think of a single stat they'd consider their favorite. And, those same people struggle to narrow down the myriad of stories that pop into their heads to pick a single favorite. It's how our brains work.
So, if you're trying to persuade and influence your best clients to buy from you, sign up for your newsletter, or just share their favorite color, you need to use stories.
This ties into the other two trends I mentioned because stories connect people. We empathize with characters who are similar to us or people we know. We feel what they feel as they go through the story. (Our brains literally respond as if we're being chased by the same scary monster as a character in a horror film. They can't tell the difference.) 
And, this is the reason why this emotional connection is so influential, we make decisions using emotions. 
Even you. 
Yes, you.
So, if you want to learn more about how to use stories to help your business thrive in 2022 and beyond, subscribe to the Squash and Stretch Productions newsletter! You’ll get valuable insights, tips, and advice on how to optimize your business storytelling skills and truly differentiate your company from the competition, right to your inbox!

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Written by Agile Partner for Storytelling and Full-Motion Video: Karl Pontau, President, Squash & Stretch Productions
Special thanks to Karl Pontau for his contribution to the Agile Digital Marketing 2022 Blog.